Conserving natural resources is a basic requirement for sustainable development and improving the quality of human life. Environmental Information System (ENVIS) provides a focal point at which decision-makers and planners can draw authentic and viable information on environmentally-related issues.
ENVIS is a Central Scheme, set up in the December 1982 Sixth Plan, as the first scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. WWF India, Delhi is one of the ENVIS Hub of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
It was a warm and bright sunny day on November 15, 2019. For most, it was an ordinary weekday, with the daily humdrum of work. But, for me, it was one of the most special days of my life.
It was the induction class for the 4th Batch of the WWF-ENVIS Programme. 15 students were interviewed and selected from all over India by WWF for this Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) course. These 15 students were from different backgrounds and brought diversity to the table.
The inaugural function, of the 2-month certificate GSDP on Wildlife Management using geospatial techniques at WWF, Delhi, started around 10:00 AM.
Economic Adviser, Yashvir Singh had inaugurated this course on November 15, 2019, in presence of Dr G Areendran, Coordinator, ENVIS Resource Partner, WWF-India, Rahul Bhatia, Research officer, MoEF&CC, selected candidates and senior officials from WWF-India.
Dr G Areendran, followed by Varun Datta Gupta, spoke on the importance of the GSDP course, and on the importance of geospatial techniques in wildlife management. Every participant introduced themselves and the function ended with a formal lunch.
The 15 participants included Kanika Rajput, Gargi Vats, Shivani Kalra, Narendra, Rohitash Kumar, Barsha Bismita, Shehnawaz Khan, Nishit, Pankaj Ojha, Hemlata, Mansi Sahu, Akhil, Aman Pandey, Prashant Arjun, and Saurabh Basu Chowdhury (me!).
Classes began from the next day, and they were broken down into two parts – theory and practical classes. The theoretical lectures were taken by experts who have conducted research and had PhDs in fields like urban planning, wetlands, wildlife management, eco-tourism, environmental law, and policy-making, and more.
The practical classes were taken by Mehboob Sir, Debu Sir, and Kishna Sir, with the help of Ranjan, Akhil, Samrat, Abhijitha, Nitu Singh, and Shashi Bhai. They taught us to use ERDAS and Arc GIS software, and how it can be used for better visual representation and presentation purposes.
Now, all 15 of us are working on a live project where we will be using ERDAS and GIS tools. I am also working on a project on food wastage where I will be using GIS and ERDAS software to present some solutions and conclusions in front of the assessment team by using secondary data from validated sources.
As per the plan, we will all head to Bharathpur, for a study trip, to understand and experience the process of ‘birding’ through our own eyes.
On January 14, the valedictory function is to be held at the WWF Delhi office, and certificates will be distributed to all the 15 participants for successfully completing the ENVIS-GSDP Course.
At last, I can say that I will miss each and every person in this course, whether they were my colleagues or the faculty, and especially Rajeev Kumar Sir. They became my family over these couple of months.
With GIS and ERDAS tools, there’s a lot of things and types fo research that one can do.
“The only limit is your own imagination,” said Lawrence Jones MBE.