A Glance on ICT Programmes and Projects in the Field of Sustainable Development in Portugal
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Integration of Environmental Information in Europe
ICT for Environmental Sustainability
Sustainable development is nowadays a major issue of most governmental agendas creating the need to define strategies to tackle this issue. A National Strategy for Sustainable Development was defined in Portugal in 2007, identifying the development objectives and the necessary measures and actions to assure the adequate balance among the economic, the social and the environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Four strategic domains were established: (1) to guaranty a balanced territorial development; (2) to improve environmental quality; (3) to produce sustainable consumption; (4) towards a solidarity society for knowledge. This last domain focuses on the strengthening of professional capabilities towards Portuguese population competitiveness, the development of education, information and participation, the access to justice and the responsibility for sustainable development, as well as the support to a wide cooperation context for Portugal. Accordingly, a Technological Plan was established as a governmental priority in the implementation of its public policies, as an action agenda for all the Portuguese society, which aims at mobilizing enterprises, families and institutions for surpassing the modernization challenges the country has been facing during the last years. In this context Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) were considered a major step forward and several initiatives involving ICT are under development in different domains that aim to contribute to cope with the sustainable development challenge. This paper intends to provide a glance of the research situation in the field of ICT for sustainable development in Portugal. Major issues concerning the use of ICT for sustainable development in Portugal are presented focusing on the government initiatives and on the existing research programmes and projects. Examples of undergoing initiatives in different areas are presented aiming to illustrate the use of ICT for sustainable development in Portugal. Two research units are highlighted, the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research and the Portuguese Geographic Institute as examples of Portuguese institutions working for sustainability and on the use of ICT to relevant areas for sustainable development. Finally a discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the future is performed.