Presenter :S. N. Prasad
Western Ghats region of India, a UNESCO world heritage site, is considered one of the globally recognised hotspots of biodiversity in the world with a plethora of plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and freshwater fish species. Geospatial technologies have been used to store that information by collecting and mapping their spread along with other relevant information about the species, but not without its own challenges ranging from updation, maintenance and distribution to using this information in an effective manner for conservation. With the rapid growth in open source geospatial technology with the upcoming web and mobile technologies, it provides a great potential in taking a community inclusive approach to biodiversity conservation in a cost effective, scalable and sustainable manner. This paper aims to present the experiences a set of workshops which were undertaken as part of the project – “Biodiversity Conservation in Western Ghats, India – Capacity Building in Harnessing Geospatial Data Management” funded by Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN-GCR) with a focus on building capacity of the decision makers and important stakeholders, and exposing them to these state-of-the-art free and open source technologies. The training framework was developed to provide input to the respective stakeholders taking into account their participation and decision making capabilities, level of domain knowledge and local developmental imperatives. The participants had a formal background in either zoology, botany, wildlife, biodiversity, ecology or geography and they worked as researchers, managers or policy makers in State biodiversity boards, Forest departments, NGOs, Research institutes or agencies which impact the biodiversity in the Western Ghats region of India.
Keywords: Geospatial, FOSS4G, Open Source, Training, Knowledge Base