Forests, essential for life on Earth, confront escalating pressures due to development. To balance human needs and sustainable forest growth, robust forest management principles guided by accurate geospatial information are pivotal.
In response to the 2011 Supreme Court Directive on Lafarge Cement versus Union of India, Odisha became the first state to take action, recording all forest land. With approximately 61,204 sq. km of forested area, modern technologies are vital for their identification, mapping, and management. Notably, around one-third of Odisha's land is covered by recorded forests, overseen by both Forest and Revenue Departments.
Collaborating with the Odisha Forest Department, SPARC spearheads a solution for precise forestland information, fostering sustainable development and conservation. The project spans four years, involving Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) surveys and geo-referencing of forest land. Progress encompasses 28 divisions out of 51, marking a significant step towards comprehensive forestland governance.
Key to this effort is Geo-Referencing Forest Land (GRFL), leveraging advanced geospatial technologies like high-accuracy DGPS to meticulously map forestland boundaries. This database amalgamates various reference layers, from protected areas to topographic maps, forming the foundation for informed decision-making and sustainable forest management.
Driving this process is the Forest Land Information & Decision Support System (FLI DSS), serving as a centralized platform for collecting, verifying, and analyzing forest land data. It adheres to Supreme Court directives, presenting region-wise details of different forestland categories.