India: In what could be a major step towards integrating geographic information system (GIS) with forest management, the State Government of Orissa has come up with the Forest Geomatics Centre under the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OSFDC).
As part of the OFSDP, degraded forests in 14 divisions are being restored and a livelihood of forest-dependent population is improved. Under the project, plantation, natural regeneration, siliviculture operations for forest restoration in Joint Forest Management (JFM) and non-JFM mode are being taken up along with soil moisture conservation activities.
With the use of GIS tools, the spatial planning and monitoring of all the activities of the OSFDC will become more effective and help scientific evaluation of physical progress as well as their impact. It will also help real-time decision making and enable both field level staff as well as administrative officials access and interact with information easily.
The centre is now involved in carrying forest cover classification using satellite imagery. Besides, it is also processing forest data and information by utilising different forest and non-forest map. Web-based GIS applications are being developed for forest management. Similarly, mobile applications are also being integrated into the existing framework for ease of access.
Source: New Indian Express