Policy Support Systems

Supporting environment and development decision-making around the world since 2003

We believe that policy for sustainable development can be be better (more equitable and more effective) when based on the available scientific evidence. We have thus focused on bridging the gap from scientific data and knowledge to policy and management decision-making by building and deploying data-intensive, science-based spatial policy support systems (PSS) which are delivered on these pages. These PSS deliver science in a more actionable form.

policysupport.org is home to a range of widely used, open-access sophisticated web-based policy support systems developed, since 2003, collaboratively by AmbioTEK CIC, and applied by King's College London and a range of other partners as specified for each system. The systems are based on the common ecoengine framework for developing web based policy support systems (AmbioTEK) and SimTerra databases (AmbioTEK) but are very varied in their applications (King's College London) . Click the links for more information on and to access these systems. Take a look at and subscribe to our blog. Users and usage of these systems is described here.

  • Co$ting Nature - A Collaboration with UNEP-WCMC, Co$ting Nature assesses the Ecosystem Services provided by landscapes across the world and provides policy support for the sustainable management of these services through definition of conservation priority.

  • WaterWorld - This system provides water resources policy support for local to national scale water resources, water security and hydrological ecosystem services projects anywhere in the world.

  • Eco:Actuary - Developed for the EC NAIAD project - a global, spatial catastrophe and catastrophe mitigation model for understanding value of losses due to natural hazards and impacts of climate and land use change or land management (esp. nature based solutions) on mitigation.

  • MENARA - Developed for the EC MENARA integrated project, this system provides a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for the world.

  • FreeStation and //Smart: - Open source hardware design for connected, intelligent field sensors and monitoring stations for data assimilation, model validation

  • AguAAndes - Developed for the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF) Basin Focal Project for the Andes (BFP-Andes), this system provides policy support for water resources, water security and hydrological ecosystem services projects in the Andes.

  • CompAndes - Developed for the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF), this system (which is derived from AguaAndes) provides negotiation support for developing hydrological benefit sharing mechanisms in the Andes. Developed for the CompAndes project.

  • DESURVEY - Developed for the EC DESURVEY integrated project, this system provides policy support for understanding the effects of land use and climate change upon processes of desertification and land degradation.

  • FIESTA-FOGINT - Developed for the UK DfID project Fog Interception and Enhanced Streamflow in Tropical Areas FIESTA-FOGINT calculates fog inputs to landscapes in absolute terms and as a proportion of precipitation.


These maps show the distribution of users of these policy support systems over the last 12 months by city (excluding London) and by country (excluding UK). The systems are widely used (>3500 organisations across >180 countries). Users and usage of these systems is also described here.