Yogendra K Karna , University of Melbourne/Nepal Ministry Forests
*-Organization name: School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): 4 Water Street, Creswick, Victoria 3363, Australia
Parent Organization (Previous Employer): Department of Forests, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Work phone with country and area code: +61353214257 OR +61410207191
*-Work fax with country and area code:
*-Main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*-Organization Web site URL if any: http://ecosystemforest.unimelb.edu.au/
*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK Presently, I am a Ph.D. student at The University of Melbourne, Australia but have worked for Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal for 18 years before joining the University. Therefore, I am going to describe my parent organization which is a government agency and mainly established for the conservation, management, and planning of forest resources in overall countries. It works for local communities, district level stakeholders to the national level organization and aims to conserve and manage the
your personal role in the organization: While working as a DFO in Dolpa, one of the remotest areas of Nepal, there were significant issues of the sustainable and equitable harvest of Yarsagumba (Ophiocordyceps sinensis). Harvest and sale of Yarsagumba is a primary source of subsistence income for local people and revenue generation for government. However, residents were deprived of the benefits from the harvest of Cordyceps, since outsiders from adjoining districts encroach their areas and collect the Cordyceps illegally before maturity. Therefore, I developed a management plan and a guideline for the sustainable and equitable harvest of Corcyceps, which is widely followed even to this day in Dolpa. Before the formalization of the management plan and the guideline, a comprehensive consultation was carried out with many different stakeholders such as collectors, traders, forest officials, Forest Users, Forest entrepreneurs, District Development Committee, Village Development Committees, local politicians, etc. Detailed resource inventory including social data collection, group discussions, and feedback sessions was conducted before finalization and approval from the government. I have accomplished the work in ensuring the equitable and sustainable harvest of Cordyceps for the locals, which will ultimately enhance the livelihood of the rural population. This hard work was well appreciated by local users, district level organizations, DoF and MFSC.
I have worked in DoF as an Assistant Planning Officer for 20 months looking after the detailed planning process for the nationally prioritized forestry development programs. Earlier, plans were formulated based on incomplete information and data in the absence of a proper database. I developed the first Forest MIS with the spatial database, which facilitated in speeding up the planned activities and delivering efficient and effective regular progress reporting system. I frequently visited the districts where conducted several GIS training from a grassroots level which involves the participation of field level staff as well as community workers who use this skill for the optimization of conservation of the forest resources at local and district level.
history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I had a dream from the beginning of my career to conserving and manage forest resources using RS and GIS as one of the vibrant and efficient tools which were only possible seven years ago when I was posted in one of the District Forest Office. At that time, I took part in 15 day GIS training and accelerate myself the skill of GIS to integrate with local level conservation of forest resources, for example, delineating the hotspot of the threatened plant and wild animals in the districts. It develops my expertise for further exploration of GIS skills and knowledge as well as the use of this understanding in the field of forestry which ultimately conserve the resource to manage it sustainably and benefit the local people in the long run. After a couple of years, I was offered a scholarship to do my Master of Science Degree in NRM with GIS specialization which boosted up my knowledge in regular series.
After completing my MSc degree, I was planning to involve in a project which could design the spatial database and enhances the governance system of the Ministry of Forests through the application of GIS and RS techniques. Thus, I drove myself towards planning the project with support from donor agencies such as DFID, SWISS, and Finland government. It was a great platform to develop my expertise as well as contribute to the conservation and management of the forest resources in the district. In the first year, I have planned a pilot project entitled as "Digital Demarcation and Mapping" in 2014 with the aim of developing the database and analyzing the data for updating the status of different forest management regime of the districts. From the next year, I have planned through the regular budget with the contribution of local people for delineation of several forest management system such as community forests, leasehold forest, protected forests, hotspots, encroachment area, etc. It provided the robust database and several thematic as well as individual forest type maps of each of the forests in the districts. Those maps and database are still stored in the central server of the Department of Forests, Ministry of Forests and local Forest offices, as well as the community, forests offices in the district.
Thus, I am confident with the work that I could have done with the support from the local level to central level and move towards the conservation of the forest's resources from encroachment which will provide the maps of each forest types in the district that can be accessible from the concerned agencies and local offices.
connection to the local SCGIS chapter: I had recently made contact with the Nepal SCGIS chapter and committed to being connected and involved in this chapter. Furthermore, I have already a member of Nepal GIS Society and Nepal Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and recently been a member of SCGIS from January 2017. I have been contributing to GIS training, data sharing, tutoring and mentoring the GIS interested people, student and community in Nepal which provides me a tremendous opportunity to learn the several aspects of conservation issues and its solution through GIS platforms.
what is the most unique and the most challenging about your work: . The most uniqueness and innovation of the work is an aggregation of all the data of the several forest management regime, threatened and vulnerable hotspots and forest resource status which can be readily used by the local people, district forestry officers, community users, decision makers, researchers and students from one platform for different purposes.
Nepal being a developing country has a weak implementation of research findings due to the financial constraints. There are less capable and competent human resources of implementing the new technology and knowledge. Lack of sufficient budget to implement the innovative techniques coupled with unpredictable bureaucratic procedures may inhibit me from achieving the envisaged tasks successfully and on time.
*-Abstract/summary of the paper you will present: Identification, demarcation and spatial database generation of several forest management units remains a major challenge for long-term planning, administration, and monitoring work. The real status of these forest types both in socio-economic and geographic context is still unknown to the forest managers of the country. Hence, development of the geospatial database in a participatory approach are crucial for effective policies and planning, prioritizing interventions, valuation of forest resources and implementation of sustainable forest management. GIS is one of the promising and vibrant technology for planning, monitoring, and mapping of forest resources and its inventory. This paper aims to develop a community-based GIS approach for identification, digitization, and updating the database of several forest management regime of Nepal.
Cadastral vector data, GPS data collected from the field, existing analog map and google earth imagery with expert knowledge and field verification was used for identification of different forest management regime of the district. Analog map prepared from Compass survey and google earth imagery was the prime source of data for digitization of the forest area. The grid sheet of the cadastral layer was used to find out the location and verification of the existing analog map. Geo-referencing in the ArcGIS software was mainly applied for co-registering the ground control points and delineation of the forest boundary. Field verification was carried out only for the unit which has more or less than 10% of the original forest area.
This study introduced an integrated approach for delineation of several forest management regime by combining the community expert knowledge, GPS data, cadastral data and google earth as a base map. The study found that a geo-referenced cadastral data with the help of few ground control points can be readily used for the preparation of community forest map which was further stored in the geodatabase format of ArcGIS. The novel approach demonstrates a cost effective and efficient approach of digital demarcation of forests, development of geospatial infrastructure and generation of several thematic maps of the forest management regime with community participation.