Last updated on 1 December, 2019

Training Course for Bhutanese on Geo-informatics for Rangeland Resources Management

From 6 to 17 July 2009, a training course on the Application of Geo-Informatics for Rangeland Resources Management was organised at ICIMOD Headquarters for four rangeland managers from the National Feed and Fodder Development Programme (NFFDP) of Bhutan and the Renewable Natural Resources Research Centre (RC-Jakar) in Bhutan – both Regional Rangeland Programme  (RRP) III partner institutes. The objective of the training was to build the capacity of partner institutes in using RS/GIS technologies as a tool for conducting rangeland management activities, e.g., inventory, mapping, planning and monitoring.

Jointly developed by the Rangeland Resources Management (RRM) Action Area of ECES and the Remote Sensing (RS),  MENRIS division, based on a training needs assessment prior to the training, the two-week tailor-made course was comprised of lectures, discussions, and hands-on sessions, and covered the following main subjects: Basic RS/GIS theories, working principles and platforms; the application of major software programmes (ArcGIS, ERDAS Image, ArcMap, etc.); the interpretation, correction, and classification of images; map making; spatial data analysis; and field sampling methods and data analysis  in rangeland surveying.

To ensure that participants were able to use the acquired knowledge and skills to solve practical problems, a one-day field trip was made to the Shivapuri National Park on the outskirts of Kathmandu where the participants familiarised themselves with techniques for collecting spatial data using GPS units and surveying rangeland resources through plot sampling. The participants were also guided to work on two real-situation projects: (1) Rangeland resources mapping and habitat delineation of blue sheep, and (2) Demarcation and change analysis of forest and rangeland areas through satellite images.

The results of the hands-on work were presented at the closing session of the training and received very positive comments from the instructors and resource persons who, besides pointing out the scope for improvement, believed that the participants had mastered the necessary skills to start working with GIS technologies and that the training course had achieved its planned objective.

ICIMOD (through RRP III) is also supporting Bhutan to develop a national map on rangeland resources. This training will help partner institutes to foster the necessary human resources to complete the rangeland mapping initiative.