GI for Sustainability

GI & Sustainability 7

6708.2 - Application of GIScience in Micro-level Development – A Case Study from the Himalayan Region of Bhutan

Thursday, July 6
4:30 PM - 4:50 PM
Location: Maryland C

Achieving sustainable development vis-à-vis MDGs for Himalayan countries like Bhutan will depend extensively on rural development, which is primarily dependent of agriculture and other primary activities. Though many developing countries have adopted decentralized planning and grass root level developmental initiatives, the use and application of geospatial techniques have mostly been centralized and at macro levels. Realizing the possibility of using geospatial data at micro-spatial level, a study was conducted in one of the remote rural area of Eastern Bhutan to generate spatial data using remote sensing techniques, and incorporate socio-economic data collected from primary sources. 4 meter, 8 band Multispectral and 46 cm panchromatic data from WorldView-2, 2010 and SRTM data were the main source for spatial data analysis using ArcGIS 10.2. Random sample survey conducted from 100 households, including ground verification of maps, was carried out for analysis and validation of the results. The analysis of both spatial and non-spatial data revealed major issues, challenges and opportunities, which would probably have been unnoticed using conventional techniques. Rural-Urban Migration, labor shortage, loss of crop diversity due to mono cropping, human-wildlife conflict, and erratic weather patterns emerged as major problems in the study area. These problems are closely associated with the spatial characteristics of the study area, which are often overlooked in rural development planning processes. Micro-level variations in the physical milieu of mountainous regions make it necessary to adapt grass-root level planning and management of resources, which can best be achieved through the application of geospatial techniques.

Pankaj Thapa

Associate Professor
Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan

Pankaj Thapa has completed Ph.D. degree in Geography from the North Eastern Hill University, Shillong in 2005, and is presently serving as Associate Professor, in the Department of Geography & Planning, Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan. He is the coordinator for the Centre for Climate Change and Spatial Information, and has been working on various projects and research activities, including coordinating for collaborative academic and research work with other universities. His main research interest is on the application of geospatial techniques in various geographical studies, with special emphasis to LULC dynamics, impact of climate change and sustainable development.

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Michael Govorov

Professor
Vancouver Island University

Michael Govorov, professor at Vancouver Island University and instructor/facilitator at University of Toronto, holds a PhD in Technical Science, with a specialization in cartography, from the Siberian State Academy of Geodesy, as well as a Post-doctoral Research Certificate in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems from Wuhan Technical University of Surveying and Mapping. Dr. Govorov has 20 years research and teaching experience in GIS, Cartography and Remote Sensing. He has experience leading and successfully completing several research and educational projects funded internationally by government and private organizations.

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