Gaia Resources was engaged in 2019 to develop a submissions portal for biodiversity surveys for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
The new submissions portal complements DWER’s existing online repository of land-based biodiversity surveys in Western Australia, known as the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessments (IBSA).
The objective of IBSA is to capture and consolidate data contained in biodiversity survey reports to support assessments and compliance under the Environmental Protection Act (1986). The survey data and reports are available for everyone to download from the IBSA repository, improving environmental outcomes via improved quality of data for assessment, a broader decision-making base for regulators, an expanded knowledge base of WA’s flora and fauna and improved availability of environmental information for the community.
For the IBSA Submissions portal we developed two web-forms:
- initial form for proponents to enter metadata and upload reports and spatial files,
- subsequent form for an approver to digitally sign-off on the metadata and files to complete the submission.
The initial web-form automatically validates files on upload and immediately alerts the proponent when information or files do not meet the IBSA data standards. This makes completing the process very responsive for the proponent and provides greater consistency in the submissions process. It also provides efficiency gains for the DWER officers, significantly reducing the time they need to spend checking IBSA submissions, which results in time savings for the broader environmental assessment process.
We developed the web-forms using the Angular framework with Material Design for user interface elements and Terradata Covalent for web widgets.
For the portal back-end we selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) Serverless technology. This is a lightweight, innovative approach that provides a highly responsive system but eliminates the cost of managing servers. A key component of the Serverless approach was ensuring that the new submissions portal is a conduit, temporarily housing the data packages until they are incorporated into DWER’s existing IBSA database.
While the portal workflow is relatively simple at this stage (two forms), it has a flexible design that can be expanded to accommodate more complex workflow steps if required. The project was designed and delivered within a three month period, including significant testing rounds, and is now live at IBSA Submissions.