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India to use ICTs to save forest


11 February 2010

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The Ministry of Environment and Forests is planning extensive use of ICT for setting up national forestry knowledge forum, national forestry information network, fire monitoring and detection and forest genetics resource network. Five initiatives have been introduced recently to give a new thrust to forest and environment.

New Delhi: Setting up national forestry knowledge forum in Delhi will help in sharing issues of forestry with national and international experts in the department. The forum will facilitate virtual interactions of experts in the Forestry Department, a government release said.

forest ict.jpg
Image credits: J.G.Goldammer/ Uni-Freiburg/ Open southern tropical dry deciduous forest in Central India(Maharashtra State)

The national forestry information network is being established using remote sensing, GIS and MIS. All land based forestry interventions will be geo-mapped and monitored on a time scale, and will be put in the public domain.

The Ministry is also planning to use information technology for fire monitoring. It is working on a programme to use satellite data for early transmission of fire signals to mobile phones and PDA’s of field officers.

For this programme, the Ministry has tied up with University of Maryland to share all active fire data obtained from TERRA and AQUA satellites of NASA every six hours. This information will not only help in quick fire detection but will also help in reducing the response time and also identifying fire sensitive areas in the country.

The Ministry is also planning to set up a forest genetics resource network on similar lines of Plant Genetics Resource Bureau.

The objective of the network is to identify, characterise and preserve the valuable germplasm of a wide number of forestry species in the country. This will help the Ministry to protect valuable genetic resource against extinction and exploitation.

The forestry fellowship programme will help in recognising outstanding contributions to forestry sciences, the release added.

Recently, the Ministry has announced five initiatives—Global Advisory Network Group on Environmental Sciences (GANGES); national environmental sciences fellows programme; expert committee to enhance scientific capacity of MoEF; action plan to enhance forestry science to strengthen the scientific base of the Ministry and Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) to give a new thrust to forest and environment.

This article was originally published in igovernment.

 
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