The Indian Institute of Forest Management organized a National Seminar on "Information Technology in Forest Management", from April 28 to 30, 1999. This national seminar was envisaged at initiating a serious discussion on some important issues related to IT, and to help evolve a national vision on IT implementation in the forestry sector for the time to come. It was felt that such a discussion had become mandatory for ensuring compatibility in exchange of information between the state departments and the decision-making agencies at the centre. It would, at the same time, also develop a much-desired perspective for meeting long term information utilization goals. The seminar had the following objectives:
To create awareness about current advances in the area of Information Technology and to debate on future directions for IT applications in the forestry sector.
To identify and prioritize areas within the forestry sector where IT applications can provide substantial benefits.
To debate on measures for linking up the forestry sector to the goals of the National IT Task Force.
To develop a National Vision Document for integration of Information Technology in the forestry sector.
To provide a forum for experience sharing on IT applications in the forestry sector so far.
Around 30 participants attended the seminar from, different parts of the country representing government agencies and the industry. Some important recommendations of the seminar included:
Setting up an IT Advisory Group to assess and project man power and training needs of the sector and develop mechanisms to forge the joint alliance between the private sector, government institutions and forest departments for the purpose.
To discuss the need for developing standardized forestry specific software that can be used in different locations in the country.
To promote regular interaction meetings where forest IT users and industry can interact.
To encourage forest department to take up work related to creation of digital spatial thematic data bases on appropriate scales and mutually agreed form.
This seminar was coordinated by Dr V.D.Garde and Dr Chinmaya S. Rathore.
Reported by Dr C S Rathore