Reflections on the Training Workshop on GIS/RS

Group photo of GIS training

Bhakta Bahadur Karki, an Advisor-Knowledge Management and Communication who works with the High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) project took part in a five-day training Basics of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 2–6 May 2016 in Sauraha, Chitwan, Nepal.  The training was designed to provide a range of skills and expertise required to understand, analyse and interpret remote sensing and other spatial datasets for forest officers and people from similar institutions.  In this highly interdisciplinary training course, two staff from High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) were exposed to cutting edge technology in GIS/RS science to understand a range of subject areas, taught by experts from ICIMOD. 

During the training course, Karki said he was tutored on using ArcGIS and  ERDAS software used by the Geospatial team at ICIMOD. He said ICIMOD staff maintained an active participation among training participants and their specialisation ensured most current developments in the geospatial industry were covered in the course material.  Staff expertise further ensured the Remote Sensing and GIS course was important to natural resource managers to visualise change and it had a strong practical relevance in the field of forestry and agriculture.

'The course provided us with a very good understanding of the theory underlying GIS and Remote Sensing, experience in implementing that knowledge in practical applications, and the opportunity to explore in detail any topics that were of particular interest to us', Karki said.

‘Remote Sensing and GIS had a strong vocational dimension with field-based and work experience modules linking the latest theoretical concepts with real applications’, Karki said. ‘We will be developing a group project that reflects our practical, technical and analytical skills which will stand us in excellent stead for entry into further study, public sector organisations and private companies’. 

The training was developed in partnership with the Biodiversity Conservation Centre – National Trust for Nature Conservation (BCC-NTNC) to build capacity of different forest institutes in Chitwan, Nepal. It also served to promote the GIS/RS tools, methods and approaches for mountain development issues in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. ICIMOD rolled out the training programme through its Geospatial theme under the REDD+ initiative. The training was made possible in response to a request from AdaptHimal (Enhancing Adaptation Capacity and Resilience of the Poor to Climate and Socioeconomic Changes) partners. Earlier, staff from HVAP and Uttarakhand Gramy Vikas Smiti, Integrated Livelihood Support Project (UGVS-ILSP)  attended a week-long on-the-job training at ICIMOD.