The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is working on developing a tool called Aranya with an aim to tackle problems like poaching,tree-cutting and exploring potential areas suitable for forestry based carbon credit generation.
This support system is being developed by the Geomatics Solutions Development Group (GSDG) of C-DAC,which is a scientific society of the Central Ministry of Communication and Information Technology entrusted with providing IT based solutions in various spheres. This system will give forest departments first hand information regarding their areas of supervision in a detailed manner and will be helpful in taking well-informed decisions in different areas of forest management.
Talking about the tool,Dr Manish Kale,project leader,Aranya said,Till today,if a forest official needed specific information about an area,he would have to go through various files and studies. Aranya is a compilation of all these facts. It makes work much more easier for everyone and the best part is that it is very easy to understand and hence anyone can use it.
A group of 30 people are working on the project. The tool is being used in the Kamrup and Cacher areas of Assam at the moment. The north-east forests are quite difficult to explore in terms of the terrain. So once this is successful in our north-east project,it will be introduced in other parts of the country as well, said Medha Dhurandhar,head and programme co-ordinator,GSDG.
The tool can help in taking well-informed decisions on territorial forestry,joint forest management and social forestry,wildlife and bio-diversity as well as village development plan. Through our study if we find that a settlement is affecting a particular region,be it because of killing of animals or felling of trees,this tool can take into account the requirements of the village and locate a similar area which can fulfill the villagers requirements,thereby making the process of relocating them much easier, added Kale.
Some of the other important functions that Aranya can perform are to show areas suitable for a particular species of animal or tree. It can also act as a carbon calculator. Carbon crediting is considered to be an important component in curbing global warming. This tool can provide us with information about the height and girth of trees and what are the areas where plantations related to carbon crediting can be developed, said Dhurandhar.
The tool is being continuously updated by the team members who are carrying out studies in the forests of the north-east. The future plans of C-DAC includes the development of a comprehensive forest carbon governance software which will also be capable of handling reduced emission by avoiding deforestation and degradation requirements as has been mentioned in the governments Green India Mission.