Evolving spaces in landscape management: Linking spatial information for effective decision-making
Ravindranath Rangoori, Subrata Singh, Foundation for Ecological Security, Gujarat , India
IJEDICT Volume 1, Number 1, ISSN 1814-0556 Publisher: Open Campus, The University of the West Indies, West Indies
Community, in the policy context, is defined on the basis of fixed in place socio-political unit having residential proximity to the resource or according to state recognized political units. With the boundaries drawn at the village level and the custodial rights of the common lands vested with various departments of the state, it is difficult on the part of the communities to manage such resources. With the advent of participatory forest management powers have been devolved to the communities for protection and use of the resources. Apart from the institutions at the village level, many of the discussions in recent times have focused on the need for nested institutions at various levels to help conserve and protect large landscapes. The need for nested institutions emerges to resolve conflicts and work towards reshaping the boundaries to establish stable governance of the resource. Despite the regulated use of the resources by community institutions, the resources have tended to get degraded gradually. Conservation of large landscapes requires mechanisms to bring in equilibrium the demand and supply within and among the communities in the larger socio-political setting. These institutions in many circumstances feel incapacitated to understand the entire landscapes and assess the quality and the availability of the resources and therefore take decisions based on the who is right and not what is right. The protection and use posits a need for means to understand the entire resource base to take decisions effectively. Geographical Information System (GIS) technology is one of the widely used tools to assist in the management of larger landscapes in terms of forest conservation, pastures, water resource management and wildlife management. The integration of both spatial and non-spatial data allow users to efficiently and effectively make well-informed decisions using visual aids and three-dimensional models that simulate the environment. This paper discusses a participatory Geographic Information System (GIS) with community forest management groups in India and the importance of putting people before technology in order to make GIS a truly participatory process in landscape management. The process of dialogue can lead to better information and more transparency about community needs, strategies and the problems at stake. Community, Geographical Information System, Nested Institution, India
Rangoori, R. & Singh, S. (2005). Evolving spaces in landscape management: Linking spatial information for effective decision-making. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT, 1(1),. Open Campus, The University of the West Indies, West Indies.