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US Forest Service provides GIS training to Bhutanese foresters

Bhutan: The US Forest Service partnered with the government of Bhutan to train the local foresters in remote sensing technology for improved management of forests and wildlife. Forest Service employees are helping Bhutanese people develop GIS data from remote sensing imagery related to historical wildfires and current tree canopy cover in Bhutan.
For this purpose, two foresters from the Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forests are undergoing a training programme at the Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City, US. Under the training programme, Forest Service officials will teach the Bhutanese foresters how to use satellite imagery with photo interpreted and field inventory data to map tree canopy cover over the entire country. Combined with new inventory data, the fire history and canopy cover layers will give Bhutan one of the best estimates of forest carbon pools in Asia.
After completing their training in the US, a Forest Service employee will accompany these foresters to Bhutan to inform others about the usage of remote sensing technology.
During the last few years, the Forest Service has partnered with Bhutan with support from the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development. The Forest Service has also assisted Bhutan’s National Forest Inventory efforts and has lead fire management training sessions for the country. More recently, the Forest Service has been sharing decision support tools, such as forest fire history mapping, with South Asian countries like Bhutan.
The Forest Service has also been working with neighbouring countries in South Asia during the last three years. They include Nepal and India as part of the State Department-funded regional Eastern Himalayas Initiative, and bilateral collaboration with forestry departments and colleagues in Bangladesh and India.
Source: USDA