In the HKH region, forest degradation is a major regional issue which policy measures have been unsuccessful in addressing. There are multiple drivers of forest degradation — tracking degradation is in itself the biggest challenge. Degradation happens over time in a very subtle manner and goes undetected by satellites. Degraded forest typically reduces the capacity of the forest to generate ecosystem services with subsequent losses of the carbon pool, loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
Globally, REDD is an emerging policy for countries to embrace incentive based management of forested landscape. REDD seeks to incentives forests management based on their performance for a) reducing deforestation, b) reducing forest degradation, c) conservation of carbon stocks in forest, d) sustainable management of forest and e) enhancement of carbon stocks.
For developing countries to access the financial incentive for REDD+, they must demonstrate results of any of these activities, which must to be monitored, reported and verified based on scientific standards set by IPCC. Geographic information system and remote sensing are tools that allow developing countries to show the results of implementing REDD+ strategies and claim their payment based on demonstrated and verified results. Due to size, inaccessibility of the forest resources, and international requirements for a uniform methodology, quantification of the carbon cycle components in both space and time, leans heavily on remote sensing, GIS modelling and related statistical tools.
ICIMOD through the Geospatial Theme and REDD + Initiative programme is promoting the GIS/RS tools, methods and approaches for mountain development issues in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region and has a good track record in capacity building and training with its partners in eight member countries namely: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. ICIMOD also interfaces with international and regional agencies to bring-in or customise international knowledge and best practices adapted to mountain specific situations and thereby transfer know-how and technology to national partners. The training programme is being developed in partnership with Biodiversity Conservation Centre-National Trust for Nature Conservation (BCC-NTNC) as a part of remote sensing and GIS capacity building of different forest institutes in Chitwan, Nepal. The event is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway.
The objective of the capacity building and training programme is to enhance and strengthen the capacities of forest institutions in Nepal in utilising geo-information, and applying spatial tools and techniques to support planning and decision-making for REDD and or for forest and park management. More specifically, the course aims to introduce the topic of GIS and remote sensing with practical applications and familiarise them with GIS and RS data management skills and knowledge.
This capacity building and training programme is targeted at technical and professional staff from different institutes of Chitwan district specifically from Chitwan National Park, Biodiversity Conservation Centre and District Forest Office, Chitwan that are working on REDD, biodiversity and forest management related topics.
The participants will acquire knowledge and skills on GIS, remote sensing and GPS. The participants will be exposed to different software tools and techniques for handling spatial information, analysis and presentation. The participants will be also exposed to a range of potential applications in land cover and change analysis.
After the training, three groups will be formed to execute geo-spatial based project in their respective areas. After three months, the group will present their work for further discussion and feedback.