About the AfroMaison Toolbox

Many tools for Integrated Natural Resource Management exist. Currently, however, finding tools, and knowing how to use them, for a natural resource manager is not straightforward. 

The AfroMaison Toolbox has been designed to facilitate the selection of tools by different user groups in an intuitive way. It does not store tools directly but rather contains the metadata describing the tool. Its strength lays in the three distinctive approaches to narrow down the selection of tools:

  • A free search. The user himself will need to browse through the search results, evaluate the usefulness of the results and alter the search terminology if necessary. 
  • A filtered search option whereby the user narrows down on a group of tools by selecting within certain categories. 
  • A wizard style guided search where tools are revealed to the user while running through a number of questions.

The AfroMaison Toolbox can be accessed through http://toolbox.afromaison.net

Some Afromaison tools

The AfroMaison Project has either worked with inherent and existing tools, created new tools or has contributed to the further development of existing tools. Some of these are:

- AfroMaison Broker: tool that allows users to search across various resources and lets them easily discover data that can fulfill their requirements. Many standards are supported (OGS, THERADDS, ...).

- AfroMaison Spatial Data Infrastructure: suite of tools built around Free and Open Source Software to make all data and metadata interoperable, discoverable, accessible and integrable using web services.

- The AfroMaison metadata catalogue contains metadata for discovering all the geodata used in the frame of the project and is accessible at: http://afromaison.grid.unep.ch/geonetwork/ srv/en/main.home. The OGC compliant Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) standard is available at: http://afromaison.grid. unep.ch/ geonetwork/srv/en/csw?.

- Tools to support the selection and design of economic instruments: The AfroMaison project developed a Decision Support Tool (Eco-DST) that aims to support the selection of the economic instrument(s) that will have the most potential to provide effective incentives for the sustainable management of resources. Additionally, a Design Matrix (DeMax) has been developed to assess the local potential for implementing a selected Economic Instrument in a given context, assess key design considerations for the application of an Economic Instrument in a specific context, evaluate the likely impact and sustainability of the Economic Instrument in that context, and to highlight potential flaws or barriers in the implementation of the selected Economic Instrument.

- WAT-A-Game: WAT-A-GAME (WAG) is an open toolkit and a method based on simple bricks and a supporting software for designing and using participatory simulations (i.e. role playing games) for water management, policy design and education. It can be easily used for your own cases, at different scales and for various water related issues. WAG can be used in any place, with, and between, all stakeholders, farmers, citizens, experts, administration, policy makers....

- AfroMaison Sustainable Land Management search tool: There is extensive literature on research and implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) interventions in Africa. A large number of studies, manuals, handbooks, guidelines and databases, categorising SLM practices and describing case studies, are available. These generally focus on a specific set of practices (e.g. conservation agriculture, soil fertility, rainwater harvesting). A search tool was created to expedite access for the AfroMaison case studies to resources, covering a wide range of intervention types, and to allow the exploration of different options to address very specific NRM issues. The SLM search tool groups SLM interventions into 10 major categories and 19 types, according to purpose, and uses a faceted search to explore over 400 case studies compiled from the literature.

- Ecosystem Services (ES) mapping and assessment tool The impact of interventions on ES can be used as a proxy for combined impacts on livelihoods and ecosystems. To assess the impact of particular land management strategies, maps of ES provision are generated and compared for conditions with and without interventions. Many of the land management interventions identified as part of the INRM strategies act by modifying land cover (e.g. conversion of agricultural land to agroforestry), land condition (e.g. reducing erosion), or both. Using an ES mapping approach, changes in land cover type are captured in land use/land cover maps. Changes in land condition are reflected in the provision of specific ES from the particular land cover, and captured in a matrix which describes the relationship between land cover and ES.

Other useful resources for INRM:

- TUL-SEA toolbox: a negotiation support toolbox for Integrated Natural Resource Management is a World Agroforestry Centre Southeast Asia (ICRAF SEA) Project.

- WOCAT-database: The ‘World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies’  is an established global network of Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) specialists, contributing to sustainable land management (SLM). The network provides tools that allow SLM specialists to identify fields and needs of action, share their valuable knowledge in land management, that assist them in their search for appropriate SLM technologies and approaches, and that support them in making decisions in the field and at the planning level and in up-scaling identified best practices.

- GWP toolbox: The Global Water Partnership (GWP) has an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Toolbox that compiles an organized collection of case studies, reference documents, reader lists, external web sites and other supporting materials in water resources management, which have been submitted by various contributors and are peer reviewed. 

QGIS: user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities