• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Grassroot leaders attend capacity building training in Kohora

A two-day workshop on participatory mapping for grassroot leaders for implementation of seventh operational phase of GEF small grants was organised collaboratively by TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) and region’s premier biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak recently.

The workshop was organised during June 27-28 at the Community Resource Centre, Chandrasing Rongpi Memorial High School, Chandrasing Rongpi of Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam.

A diverse group of 10 representatives from various organisations participated in the workshop focusing on different thematic areas ranging from livelihood to health and nutrition to sustainable agriculture.

The training aimed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and standardise skills across sectors. It also sought to encourage adoption of spatial technologies, facilitate data integration and enhance problem-solving capabilities.

By demonstrating the value of GIS and GPS in different organisational contexts, the training served as a catalyst to improve decision-making process, building capacity and creating a network of skilled professionals who can share knowledge and best practices.

The participating organisations included SeSTA (Seven Sisters Development Assistance) from Kamrup Metropolitan district, Lotus Progressive Centre from Nalbari and Foundation for Sustainable Development Trust based in Guwahati.

Representatives also came from Bosco Integrated Development Society in Meghalaya, Green Valley Society in Guwahati and SNHPAD from Jorhat.

Rounding out, the group were participants from Kalong Kapili and SPREAD NE, both from Guwahati, and Bethany Society from Shillong. This mixture of organisations brought a wealth of diverse perspectives and experiences to the training.

The event was facilitated by a team of experts including Nandita Hazarika, Consultant, TERI ; Arup Kumar Das, Senior manager, Aaranyak; Dr. Dipankar Saharia, Senior Director, Administrative Services, TERI ; Dr. Firoz Ahmed, Senior scientist in Aaranyak; Jayanta Kumar Sarma, Senior Programme Associate, Natural Resource Management Programme in Aaranyak and Sourav Gupta, Senior Researcher in Aaranyak.

Special guests, including Sounika Karmakar, Regional Co-ordinator NE region, UNDP – GEF, small grants programme in TERI and Manish Kumar Pandey, National Coordinator in TERI, were felicitated during the opening session.

The workshop’s curriculum was meticulously designed to cover both theoretical concepts and practical applications. The day one of the workshop was focused on introducing space, place and map reading concepts, followed by sessions on participatory mapping approaches by Jayanta Kumar Sarma and Sarlongjon Teron, Senior Project Officer in Aaranyak for rural development planning and a case study on natural resource mapping at Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Landscape. Participants also received hands-on training in using GPS devices and smartphones for data collection.

The second day was dedicated to field data collection and practical application of the learned skills. Participants engaged in land use mapping exercises and learned to transform field data into maps using Google Earth software. The day concluded with group presentations of the maps created during the workshop.

“Aaranyak is committed towards conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem and supporting the indigenous communities residing in Kaziranga- Karbi Anglong Landscape and Manas Landscape through alternative sustainable livelihood activities, education and awareness programmes. The whole initiative is supported by IUCN, Kfw.”, a press statement released by Aaranyak stated.

The event was made possible due to the efforts of the organising team of Aaranyak and community volunteers Stephen Lekthe and Elwin Teron also provided valuable support to the event.

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