Public Participation Role in Environmental Monitoring: Design and Development

Abstract

The process of environmental monitoring of any area includes data collection, analysis and conversion to strategic information that helps decision makers to reach the appropriate decisions to achieve environmental goals. This process includes various aspects of environmental reality such as air, water, soil, man, plant and others, through the measuring and estimation of many indicators, which are compared to the criteria for identifying environmental problems.In view of the multiplicity of these aspects and the difficulties facing the monitoring process and the limited technical capabilities of the environmental institutions, it requires the participation of the community in this process through the voluntary participation of citizens in various forms and methods , including public meetings, telephone interviews, e-mails and surveys, at various levels and include information. consultation, inclusion, and cooperation.While recognizing the importance of involving citizens in the process of monitoring and assessing environmental reality for a long time, it is often considered ineffective because of the physical, technical and practical complexity, as well as the nature of environmental information. The aim of this research is to design and develop a smart mobile application to facilitate public participation in the environmental monitoring process, named(PPEM) (Public Participation in Environmental Monitoring). This application takes the data collection and local content created by the volunteer users (citizens) and sends them to the central database to turn them into important information about the quality, quantity and location of environmental pollution, facilitate the decision- making process by the competent authorities for treatment as soon as possible, and increase public awareness. Multiple tools such as GIS, mobile devices and software have been integrated to accomplish this task.The designed and developed application(PPEM),will contribute to the establishment of a framework that explores the use of ICTs to enhance citizens 'participation in environmental monitoring in Babylon governorate by supporting citizens' activities, such as data collection and communications.