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Biodiversity Conservation in Western Ghats, India: Capacity Building in Harnessing Geospatial Data Management

 

Abstract

Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hot spot, is facing huge crisis due to developmental demands. While this poses a biodiversity management challenge, localized studies and disparate datasets limit the ability to upscale studies/results to a level that can provide actionable inputs to decision makers and planners. New and innovative methods using geospatial technology can help bridge this gap if stakeholders have access not only to the data but also to the appropriate tools for informed decision making. This activity will train participants to equip policy makers and other stakeholders converting science-questions to an appropriate geospatial query that can provide the right insights/answers drawing upon the database.

The proposed activity aims for building capacity and enhancing data handling capabilities leading to Informed decision making through deployment of state-of-the-art free and open source geospatial technology tools for conservation, and sustainable development of the Western Ghats. This goal is in consonance with science agenda of APN in increasing scientific capacity on Ecosystems, Biodiversity & Land use. A whole spectrum of modern desktop/web/mobile platforms for awareness building, data management & capacity enhancement of relevant stakeholders will be disseminated through this activity.

 

Objectives
  1. Demonstrate and build consensus on how a Biodiversity Spatial Data Infrastructure for Western Ghats can help stakeholders.
  2. Knowledge sharing of best practices – building linkages and learning from one-another across Western Ghats range states.
  3. Capacity building in geospatial biodiversity data management – Simple and effective way of overcoming the data collection and analysis challenges by using Open Source based mobile/tab based Geospatial Apps and Volunteered Geographic Information System(VGIS).

 

Participating Organizations
  • APN-GCR: The major sponsor of the project through call for proposal under the Scientific Capacity Building/Enhancement for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries (CAPaBLE) programme.
  • OSGeo: Overall management including training material preparation, development and operationalization of WebGIS portal.
  • IIIT, Hyderabad: Infrastructure, technical support and training material preparation.
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore: Technical support, ecological knowledge and capacity building activities.
  • Salim Ali Foundation, Thrissur: Organizing local workshop and extension activities.
  • Centre for Environment and Social Concerns, Ahmedabad: Local support, hosting and conducting the workshop in Gujarat.
  • Goa University, Goa: Providing data, ecological expertise and local organisation.