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Clarification on the issue of making available information on PLEC demonstration sites
(reprinted with small changes from PLEC News and Views 17, 2001, p.11)
- PLEC Clusters need to assemble and present data on the physical and managed characteristics of the demonstration site areas under a clearly defined and comparable set of headings, together with data on site populations and their characteristics. A guideline statement on presentation has ben prepared and issued together with the report of the Management Group meeting in Arusha.
- The question of biodiversity data and its presentation is covered in the recent guidelines, which provide for the creation of summary tables for wider use.
- Site characteristics should be concisely presented in the final reports, for general information. For text, only brief statements per site are envisaged, with all detailed information remaining the property of those who collected it, including their collaborating farmers.
- Regarding location of the sites, there may sometimes be reasons not to reveal even the broad location of a PLEC demonstration site. However several papers presented to PLEC News and Views have SHOWN these locations by maps at topographical scale (1:50,000 to 1:100,000). Unless there are good reasons for not doing so, this much would be acceptable practice in the final reports and other documents.
- Specific locations of field sites, woodlots, housegardens, etc. and of sampled quadrats (which are required to be physically marked on the ground to facilitate re-survey) are available to the Clusters only, sometimes with detailed geo-referenced information. These have never been published and only rarely have been specified in internal reports; PLEC does not recommend that they be published.
- The database guidelines make provision to provide geo-referenced information in a confidential field which, like detailed uses of specific plants, will remain confidential and not be published or included in any generally-available database.
- Any members of other projects wishing to work in PLEC sites will first have to approach the Clusters concerned, not UNU or any central coordination. Cluster leaders may at discretion decide to introduce them to collaborating farmers, and show them specific locations in company with the farmers and with the farmers' agreement.
- It is important to stress that the demonstration sites are, by project policy and in reality, the property of the farmers, and their collaboration must be secured before any of the detailed data collected together with PLEC scientists can be accessed.