SCGIS 2013 Scholarship Program


Here you will find information about our 2013 scholars. This group is selected by our chapters in 10 countries and regions around the world. We encourage all SCGIS members to find candidates doing work or needing help relevant to what you do, and to reach out and contact them, introduce yourself, see how you can help them. Those wishing to donate can do so at the official SCGIS site.

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Page 1
Mr Claudel Tshibangu Lukusa, Frankfurt Zoological Society, DR Congo
Msc Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costa, Carbon Cajari Project Brazil
Msc Lyn Ohala Santos Rodríguez, Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C., Mexico
Dr Marine Arakelyan, Yerevan State University, “Biodiva” NGO, Armenia
Ms Maria Eva Sison Budong, Philippine Assn for Intercultural Development
Ms Ela Šegina CIPRA Assn for Conservation of the Alps, Slovenia
Ms Herivololona Mbola Rakotondratsimba, Association VAHATRA, Madagascar
Ms Alexandra Loshkareva, Non-profit Partnership "Transparent World", Russia
Mr Javier Lenzi, Centro de Investigación y Conservación Marina - CICMAR, Uruguay
Dr Andres Rey, Conservación Patagónica, Argentina

Page 2
Mr Andre Luis Torres Baby, Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente – SEMA/MT , Brazil
Mr Alejandro Coca Castro, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
Ms Nadezhda Kecheva National Inst of Archaeology, Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Mr. Gaston Bhu Wung, WWF Cameroon
Ms Mariana Ríos Balletto, Vida Silvestre Uruguay
Mr Takoukam Kamla Aristide, Cameroon
Ms Bridget Chitalu, Scgis Zambia Chapter
Ms Mei Kobayashi, Waseda University, Japan
Ms Fahiema Daniels, South African National Biodiversity Institute
Mr Askarinta Adi, Conservation Community – WARSI Indonesia
Mr Zhiwen Zhu, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) China Program


Name: Mr. Andre Baby, GIS officerandre
email address: andrebaby at
Job title: Coordinator of Licensing and Environmental management of agricultural activities and farming
*-Organization name: Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente – SEMA/MT (State Agency of Environment)
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Rua C, Palacio Paiaguas. Cuiaba - Mato Grosso, Brazil. ZIP CODE: 78050-970.
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Country: Brazil
*-Work phone with country and area code: +55 65 36137271
*-Work fax with country and area code: +55 65 36137271
*-Main email: sema at
*-Organization Web site URL if any:

*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: The institution I work is a government agency of the State of Mato Grosso with the responsibility of doing research, ecosystem maintenance, environmental management, protection and conservation of natural resources, monitoring, prevention and environmental control, environmental licensing, environmental education, recover degraded areas, manage water resources, to pursue policies aimed at maintaining the climate, managing forests, manage protected areas and conservation, manage solid waste and also monitor the environment. Therefore, the institutional vision is to promote the use of natural resources sutentável for everyone to enjoy today and never miss adequately resources for future generations.

After several administrative problems, police and politicians between the two institutions for managing bothandremapthe same space and the same area it was decided to pass environmental management throughout the Federal Government to the State of Mato Grosso. It was then that the SEMA was created and with it an entire mega structure had to be developed to manage three biomes (Wetlands, Amazon and Savana) and an area of ​​903,357 km ².

Managing of an area this size is not possible without the use of GIS and all their connections with other programs. It is very difficult to manage a country with continental size without mapping tools, management, information, satellite, and with particular reference.

SEMA has provided major changes in Mato Grosso, because with management tools and geographic information has sought interfirir predatory mode of natural resource use, thus imposing the respect due to state and federal environmental laws. A great example is the reduction of deforestation in the state and good agricultural practices in land use that have arisen.

*-ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION: Please describe your personal role in the organization:
My current role of this institution is the Coordinator of Activities Licensing Agricultural and Aquaculture. Note that the state of Mato Grosso is one of the largest producers of grains, meat, timber, minerals, energy (small hydro), so we have a great mission to foster the development of a rational manner, respecting environmental laws, rules institutional and obviously respecting the load capacity of the environment. So when my role is to look for alternatives that not only know the property boundaries, ie, their polygons, but also what makes each producer or entrepreneur within them. We need to develop ferramentes licensing, control and monitoring so that we know where every rural activity and how it is using the resource.

I've been through other sectors within the institution, but I confess that this is the biggest challenge, because before I had passed the advisory cabinet where's task was to give quick answers about legal situations, natural resource usage, etc.., The sector geoprocessing specific mission was to bring all the farmers for licensing and so monitor their polygons to reduce deforestation; period in another digital analysis had to identify which areas were deforested areas who were responsible and the guilty illegal logging; another time spent by specific sector of conservation and preservation where the mission was to identify areas that are still intact in the state, promoting the creation of conservation units, sensitize managers to necessitade conservation and andre2preservation, foster research and plans managements of these units, in sequence, by coincidence or not I'm in the place that develops entrepreneurial activity itself and it needs proper control. The institution has the need to pass not only manage the environmental assets and liabilities, but also as being the land use. For example, how, when, and where the landowner is exerting its activity.

Given this context, I am in EMS since its inception in July 2005 where I participated in the organization, participated in the creation of the Monitoring System and Environmental Permitting-SIMLAM that needs to be improved because of the demands and new realities. I was Coordinator of the Superintendent of Biodiversity Ecosystems also exercised the Office of GIS Coordinator of the Superintendent of Forest Management, manager of digital analysis, special cabinet adviser, project coordinator of conservation and preservation, chairman of working groups to discuss and institutionalize GIS within the institution, among many other tasks performed with pleasure and fulfillment.

So, I am currently seeking studies and expertise to structure oversight in managing environmental, environmental licensing, but above all with the mission to reconcile rural development with business and conservation of water, soil, manaciais, the good agricultural practices, livestock, etc..

The function is not easy because the departament has no structure database of spatial information unless the polygon properties. We know that the polygon are great for monitoring and fizacalização, but when it comes to conservation and environmental management have to manage to get each industry, farmer, rancher, fish farmer, etc., makes his and our natural resource. So my work is geared toward conservation recovery, diagnosis, monitoring, management, planning and many other keywords focused on the proper use of natural resources. For thus, I  believe and my institution also believe doing and instructing the proper use of the natural resource will help us prevent opening new areas of forests, deforestation and above all preserve water, air, soil, and environmental quality throughout.

*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: I believe I have an intermediate level of GIS. I have knowledge of the software: ARCGIS, SPRING, GEOMIDIA, gvSIG, ENVI and ERDAS. But mostly ARCGIS, because I studied It since its predecessor ARCVIEW.

To have an idea of my knowledge work with family ESRI, I work since 2001 in this context, when I was doing a degree in forestry at the University of Brasilia. At university (UnB) was scholar in research projects funded by the University and the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
I Participated in studies of a large area in the state of Goiás (Brazil) titled Ecomuseo of Savana (Cerrado), this area has endemic species, rare and with a very high biodiversity. I worked with Professor PhD. Jose Imanas Encinas ( Research in Sub-Basin of Peixe River - Goiás (State of Brazil), where I assisted in collected data and information, as well as assist in the processing of the data and even structure a database with geospatial information. At the same university also developed other research with Professor PhD. Henrique M. L. Chaves ( where I could develop a study on the environmental liabilities of the micro-basin of the Queima-Pé River in the city of Tangara da Serra - Mato Grosso. This study was important because the city had water rationing and needed an environmental diagnosis of micro-watershed to recover the permanent preservation areas - APP (Riparian Forest), to encourage an appreciation of the legal reserve, fostering environmental education, and thereby increase production of natural water. We know today that after 5 years the city regained its degraded areas and has plenty of water. When the conservation work together with development always generate good results. In Superintendency Biodiversity SEMA-MT worked in a core foundation of GIS to support studies for conservation and preservation. In this departament, I was responsible for managing all spatial information, contract partners and consultants to prepare studies within a conservation and research project funded by UNDP (United Nations Program for the Environment) and GEF (Global Environment Facility). This project was very important for awakening the government and the general population to conserve the northwest of Mato Grosso State, where the last great forest massif. Also, is the area where the portal is the Amazon frontier. (

I have noticed and I need to expand and improve knowledge in GIS, as part of the need to enhance programming, modeling, and database systems. I am currently working on the Superintendency of Industry and Trade Services - SUIMIS - SEMA / MT. I was invited to go to this department with the mandate to transform the mode of internal management and introduce conservation with development. It is known that the aforementioned GIS coordinating body can not manage all the information of the Secretariat and not evolved in mainstreaming with other engineers who went there, so is necessary to create specialized sectors in GIS to be able to manage all spatial information. With this we need to instruct technicians and ordering the proper infrastructure for geospatial information that can be linked to development and conservation.

Mr Alejandro Coca Castro, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombiaalejandro
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Kilometro 17 Recta Cali-Palmira, Apartado Aéreo 6713, Cali
*-Organization full mailing address, if different: N/A
*-Country: Colombia
*-Work phone with country and area code: 57(2) 445 00 00
*-Work fax with country and area code: 57(2) 445 00 73
*-Main email: - Leader of The Decision and Policy Analysis Area (DAPA)
*-Organization Web site URL if any: DAPA - - CIAT -

Environmental and conservation issues have been the focal point of my education and professional background. I am an Agricultural Engineer from the National University of Colombia, Bogotá. Currently, I am working as a researcher in the Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) research area at the International Center of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. More specifically, I am working as the GIS analyst of the Terra-I project, the first tracking tool in near-real time of habitat loss in Latin America and the Caribbean ( In total, I have around 3.5 years of developed skills and experience in the GIS and Remote Sensing

. I consider it highly important to share my work, experiences and information with my colleagues and the general community. For this reason, I am interested in sharing with the SCGIS community the results of the project in which I am involved. In addition, I would like to obtain specific technical knowledge (database management, landscape tools, cartography and GIS web technologies) that will allow me to progress in GIS and improve the workflow, methods and analysis of my project and future projects. Additionally, I see these events as a chance to initiate the process of opening an SCGIS chapter in my country in accordance with the increasing number of GIS users and institutions which have been turning their technologies towards conservation efforts.

(Right, Alejandro shares his GIS work on the Terra-i program with colleagues)

In my current job, I work daily with several GIS and remote sensing tools and data. My tasks include working with the downloading, processing and post-processing of data (HDF, BIN, ASC and ESRI raster and shape formats) and information (literature) to support the monitoring of deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean. To process the output data mentioned above, I use tools provided by NASA, ESRI and my own research area. Specifically, I have been working with GIS and remote sensing software with varying levels of familiarity: advanced (ArcInfo), intermediate (ERDAS, ENVI) and basic (GRASS, SPRING, ILWIS). Additionally, I am familiar with the raster and vector libraries of the R software which allow to me to carry out analyses of large GIS databases and also facilitate the performance of multiple statistical tests. To reduce the time necessary for processing steps, my team and I create scripts in programming languages, the vast majority in Java and Python, which allow us to automatize and analyze large data sets. Furthermore, my knowledge in web GIS technologies has been increasing since my involvement with my current job. One aspect of the project is to assist with the visualization and sharing of the output data in two platforms, one made based on ESRI web tools,, and the other one using Google APIs,

The following are some of the outputs of work in which I have been involved:
- identification, quantification and planning of Permanent Protection Areas and Legal Reserves in Brazil,
- GIS analysis to show the artisanal mining impacts on the Peruvian forest -
- Assessing the alarming land-use changes in the Paraguayan Chaco -
- Tracking forests loss on the Guatemala-Belize border -
- Training Bolivian technicians to use the Terra-i tool -

*-What GIS training are you interested in? Although I am performing multiple GIS analyses every day, I think my GIS skills can be increased and improved with the aim of generating more synthesized and streamlined information to users. Firstly, I am highly interested in learning about the management of databases using GIS technologies, as I work with a variety of formats and need to know the best way to organize them.

Next, I am also interested in going into detail on the landscape and habitat fragmentation tools that are available in the GIS field. Currently, my analyses go towards identifying the impact of anthropogenic actions in conservation areas and natural ecosystems. However, the output data of my project has the potential to perform well in GIS analyses such as identifying areas with the fastest land-use change during a certain period (including associated drivers), overlapping ecological data to understand the relationship between landscape alterations and the status of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and modeling future landscape change scenarios based on the historical data generated by the tool, among other things. Thus, I need to increase my level of GIS expertise to carry out these kinds of analyses and totally take advantage of the tools’ capabilities.

Finally, although I have been familiarized with ArcInfo tools, the variety of different tools and ways to share the output data (e.g. online GIS technologies) are still relatively unknown to me. Additionally, to advance my GIS skills it would be interesting to learn about cartography and map design tools to produce friendlier and more visually agreeable maps.



Ms. Nadezhda Kechevad

email address(es): n.kecheva at
title or role in the organization: PhD student in the Department of Classic Archaeology, Archaeologist-surveyor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Research
interest keywords (please see instructions): Archaeology, surface surveys, airborne remote sensing, analyses of satellite imagery and orthophotographs, GIS applications, Archaeological Map of Bulgaria
Organization name: National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (NIAM-BAS)
Organization full street address (in your local format):
2 Saborna Str.
1000 Sofia
Work phone with country and area code: +359 2 988 24 06
Work fax with country and area code: +359 2 988 24 05
Main email:
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): Archaeology: excavations, surface surveys, epigraphy, numismatics, interdisciplinary research, museum

describe the work that your current organization does: The NIAM-BAS (National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) is a non-profit research institute financed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences that covers the complete study of the culture of tribes and peoples who have occupied present-day Bulgaria from the remote past until the 18th century. NIAM-BAS is a national centre and coordinator of all field research in Bulgaria and exercises scholarly and methodological control on it. The Museum of Archaeology hosts the most numerous collections in Bulgaria and its exhibitions reveal it as one of the most important centres in the country for promotion of the cultural heritage of present-day Bulgaria. Its academic and museum potential turns NIAM-BAS into the biggest research archaeological unit in Southeastern Europe. NIAM-BAS was established in 1949 as a follower and successor of the Department of Valuables – part of the Library established in Sofia in 1878-1879 and reformed into a National Museum in 1892 – and the Bulgarian Institute of Archaeology (1921), which was the first academic institute in Bulgaria.

With view to the specific features of its subject matters, NIAM-BAS consists of five main departments covering the chronological span between Prehistoric Archaeology to Medieval Archaeology, Numismatics and Epigraphy, and other connected research branches. NIAM-BAS has other activities as well related to the functions of the Museum of Archaeology: taking an inventory of the finds kept in the Museum’s depositories as well as the new finds from recent excavations, preparation and opening of permanent or temporary exhibitions, restoration, conservation and photo documentation, updating the find lists and descriptions .

describe your personal role in the organization: In the period 2006-2011 I have been working on different projects, archaeological excavations and surface surveys, with archaeologists that are part of the NIAM-BAS. I was a team member and deputy leader. Since January 1, 2012 I have been a PhD student in the Department of Classic Archaeology in NIAM-BAS with a signed contract and I continued my work as a deputy leader and a leader of archaeological surface surveys.

On December 11, 2012 I signed a contract for my appointment as an employee as an archaeologist-surveyor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Research in NIAM-BAS at half day working hours. My principal work is focused on experimental, research and other creative work in the archaeological surface surveys using GIS technologies and methods. I also work for development and enlarging of the national archaeological site-level based database accumulating information for all archaeological structures in Bulgaria called Automated Information System “Archaeological Map of Bulgaria” (in Bulgarian language it is called Arheologicheska Karta na Bulgaria and it is famous with the following abbreviation: AIS AKB. I prefer to use it from now on).

Since the beginning of 2013 I have been involved in two international projects that NIAM-BAS participates in.
My duty for the first one is to be responsible for the creation of GIS database for all Roman towns in Bulgaria that are situated on the Danube River which is present-day Bulgaria’s Northern country border and also marked the defensive boundary of the Roman Empire in 1-5th century AD. d
In the other project I am part of the coordination team, leaded by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgi Nekhrizov, NIAM-BAS, who is the person responsible for the existence and development of the AIS AKB. The project is about archaeological data sharing between 24 different databases situated in 16 different European countries.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I started my archaeological GIS practice and education in 2009. I have been part of many projects including different types of archaeological investigations. Conducting of surface surveys have been the most important part I have been focused on. In most of the teams I participated in, I was responsible for the GIS work including the preliminary preparations, the actual fieldwork as well as the work off-field. This includes the creation of a database with all available information collected for the corresponding region, creation of .shp files used on the mobile GIS devices on the field and filling in the gathered information on the field in the end of the workday. Being a part of such organized teams focused on a specific region where each team member had clear and precise responsibilities was of a great benefit for the improvement of my personal GIS work. The gained experience was the reason why NIAM-BAS invited me to participate in 2011 in one of the teams conducting rescue archaeological surface surveys as a GIS specialist. In 2012 I was the leader of another team which had similar goals. The implementation of these two projects was based on the usage of mobile GIS that I had been familiar with since 2009. Working for them gave me the chance not only to collect more data for the AIS AKB that could be used for future preservation and conservation of the archaeological sites, but also to actualize some of the existing information in the database with more detailed data. The work for the improvement of AIS AKB database by providing more detailed data is the way to protect in a later stage the archaeological sites included in the system.
All projects I participated in improved my organizational, leadership, communicational and GIS skills.

describe your connection to the local SCGIS chapter:
I participated in the European SCGIS Conference with International Participation “Best Practices: Application of GIS technologies for conservation of natural and cultural heritage sites” held on May 21-23, 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria. NIAM-BAS took part in the organization of the European SCGIS conference by providing the venue. As an important team member dealing with part of the GIS work, done in an archaeological surface survey project in the Kazanlak Valley in the Middle of Bulgaria, I had the opportunity to give an oral presentation and a co-authors paper for the Proceedings of the conference. I am also very thankful to the representatives of the SCGIS Chapter Bulgaria Chief Assist. Dr. Vanya Naydenova and Assist. Stefan Stamenov for their help through giving me the chance to work on a licensed ArcInfo software, version 9.2, and giving me valuable advices referring conservation issues.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do:
As a part of an archaeological team working on the accumulation, support and development of the national archaeological site-level based database accumulating information for all archaeological structures in Bulgaria AIS AKB, I am responsible for doing a methodological work and GIS applications. This unique national-leveled database was created in 1990 and is administered by the NIAM-BAS. Its duty is to fulfil a social function for management of the archaeological recourses and their future need of conservation and preservation. It also serves for scientific investigations with the created database through collecting information for Bulgaria that concerns the localization and description of newly discovered archaeological sites. Its creation, usage and support are protected by a regulation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture. It is very helpful in conservation and protection of archaeological heritage.

Archaeological surface surveys are essential for the accumulation of more data in AIS AKB. They have been conducting for hundred years on Bulgarian territory using different approaches. There has not been established any unified methodology yet. Limited and in time gradually increasing archaeological site-based usage of GIS applications started 4 years ago. My work as a PhD student is to provide contemporary methods for conducting archaeological surface surveys in order to collect as detailed data as possible using mobile and desktop GIS hardware and software. In this way the future investigation and conservation of the archaeological resources would be aided.

As an archaeologist-surveyor my responsibility and at the same time a challenge is also focused on my introduction to the development of new GIS technologies that could be applicable to the localization, data gathering, investigation and conservation of archaeological sites.

For future development of AIS AKB and NIAM-BAS as an institution the application of GIS technologies is principle goal. Different spatial analyses and predictive modeling that GIS software offers would be very beneficial to implement this task.



Name: Mr. Gaston Bhu Wung, GIS and database officer
*-Organization name: WWF, Cameroon Country Program Office (CCPO)
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): BP 6776 Yaoundé, Cameroun
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
phone number(s): +237 77458353
email address (es): GBuh at
Photo of Scgis Cameroon (Gaston is at far left)
More about Gaston and Scgis Cameroon, see this Esri Blog linkscgcameroon

*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: I work relatively well with ARGIS 9.3, still to be introduced into ARCGIS 10 interface
*-How are you currently learning GIS? Self; I have been making personal effort to learn by doing, our local chapter members of SCGIS has been very helpful over the years and my previous participation in this same program also greatly improved on my skills

*-What GIS training are you interested in? To improve on my database management skills, and develop capabilities of web mapping, capable of sharing our local work with the international community.Please describe your personal role in the organization: the title of my job speaks for itself about the role I play in my organization. Generaly I am tasked with the following assignments;

*-ROLE IN THE LOCAL SCGIS CHAPTER: I am one of the national coordinating team members for SCGIS in Cameroon and have been an active member since the inception of this local chapter in 2007. I have been very instrumental with undertaking outreach events over the years and organization of some GIS training classes to members of the ministry of forestry and also some local staff members of NGO.Working for WWF CARPO, provide me another opportunity to further apply knowledge gain through SCGIS toward effective conservation in Cameroon and other countries within the Congo basin. I am currently working as the GIS and Database officer with everyday activities ranging from providing geospatial services to the different conservation work in the different WWF field based sites within Cameroon and beyond. Considering the continued advancement in this technology, it makes sense for me to seek further opportunity to be trained and therefore continue to provide this necessary service as required. The assistance through SCGIS helps me to contribute to the objectives and values of SCGIS in the world by acting locally in my local community while thinking globally through the SCGIS goals and objectives. We are just entering another dimension of conservation through the REDD+ process. MRV is an important component of this process that requires adequate skills in geospatial technology. I am greatly involved in this process and feel that I should update my knowledge and get more prepared towards delivering required results that meets international standards requirements. As a former scholar, I do strongly believe that through further participation, my skills cannot remain the same, but just the right time to get improved knowledge and face the new challenges to measuring carbon emission and from forest degradation and deforestation.



name: Ms Mariana Ríos Balletto Marina
.email address: maririos34 at
job title or role in the organization: General coordinator
interest keywords: conservation, protected areas, biodiversity, envir education, sustainable development, advocacy
*-Organization name: Vida Silvestre Uruguay
*-Country: Uruguay
*-Work phone with country and area code: (00598) 29025853
*-Work fax with country and area code: (00598) 29022362
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URL if any:
*-Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): conservation, protected areas, biodiversity, envir education, sustainable development, planning policy, envir law, advocacy

*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: ArcGIS 9.2, which I am currently using to perform GIS analysis. I have some experience on how to work with vectors, points, lines, polygons and grids, and certain basic analysis such as joins, clips, unions and other vectorial analysis, but all the time I feel that I can do everything much easier and faster, and mainly that I can do MORE. I know much less on how to work with raster, which would be very useful in some of the tasks I need to perform. I know little in teledetection and image analysis. I find things I need to do take ages to finish because I take the long path or I need to do many “useless” steps when performing my analysis.

*-How are you currently learning GIS? Currently I am learning GIS mainly by asking to other colleagues who know more on how to use the programs and approaches to GIS analysis. My main “teachers” are Philip Miller and Lucía Bartesaghi, and most recently María Szephegyi who also attended to your course. I also use tutorials and forums on-line to learn more about suitable approaches for the tasks I need to perform on GIS.

*-What GIS training are you interested in? : I would like to learn the raster “world” and decision-support (scenario) tools to aid in decision-making for conservation planning and environmental management. For instance, currently I am working in developing scenarios for expanding Uruguay’s National System of Protected Area, trying to apply optimization techniques to identify protected areas networks that maximize conservation objective in the least amount of land. I would like to get to know tools to help in this type of analysis integrating decision involving many criteria/objectives. In addition I would like to learn more about the Model builder tool, which I have used a few times and think might be very useful when doing some of the analysis I often have to*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: Please describe the work that your current organization does:Vida Silvestre Uruguay (VSUy) is a non-profit Uruguayan organization created in1995. We are an IUCN member since 2010 and at the national level we are members of the national network for environmental NGOs. It vision is a Uruguay were people values Nature as a key element for the country development and people´s well being, and where species and ecosystems are conserved for future generations.
Its mission is to conserve Nature in Uruguay through the protection of species and ecosystems, promoting scientific research, advocacy and management of landscapes and protected areas for a sustainable development of Uruguay. Depending on the project, we work together with local and national governments, other NGOs, research institutions such as National Universities, and mainly with local partners around Uruguay trying to find together solutions for the environmental problems they face.
At national level our main goal is to implement protected areas, helping to find suitable places to create new areas, as well as taking part in their design and planning and later on their management. We also work with endangered species promoting national and regional conservation programs. Regarding ecosystems, we are currently working with regional partners (including IUCN) in the conservation of temperate grassland, a highly endangered bioma. We also work with land owners to improve management practices for cattle-rising and tree plantation, to promote sustainable production. Although our website is only in spanish I invite you to have a look at our work at

Mr Takoukam Kamla Aristide, African Marine Mammals Conservation Association, Cameroon aristide
job title or role in the organization: Project Coordinator
*-Organization name: AMMCA (African Marine Mammals Conservation Association)
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Dizangue, Edea Cameroon
*-Organization full mailing address, if different: Po.Box: 7039 Intendance round about, Yaounde
*-Country: Cameroon
*-Work phone with country and area code: (00237) 79360673
*-Work fax with country and area code:N/A
*-Main email: kamlaaristide1 at

"My name is Aristide Kamla. I'm a member of an association engaged in the Conservation of African Marine  Mammals (AMMCA) such as dolphins and West African mammals. We are currently running a marine mammal conservation project entitled: " Assessing the distribution, bycatch and strandings of marine mammals on the Cameroon Coast" and funded by WCS.  In this project , we intend to improve available knowledge of dolphin and  West African manatee  by building a fisher community-network that will record and communicate sightings and captures, and by completing boat surveys in sites with high sighting reports. Data collected will then enable the creation of a distribution and density map and improve understanding of habitat use. This study would initiate a long-term monitoring scheme of the Cameroon coastal zone. This project has the particularity that it will also help identify areas with high  dolphins or manatee occurrences  that could be used as eco-touristic areas. The most important part of this project rely heavily on mapping and spatial analysis in order to display data collected in a way that would be easily understood by various stakeholders. However my organization doesn't have this skill required to perform such an advance GIS technology. SCGIS scholarship is a unique opportunity for my organization and me to build its capacity in advanced  GIS adapted to marine environment. " arist


*-Describe your current GIS capability/expertise: I've been using ArcView 3.0 and map info 9.0 for mapping West African manatee sighting and strandings reported by fishers within two protected areas of Cameroon. I was using approximate location coordinates such as name of the villages reported by the fishermen as sighting or stranding sites that I would then locate on a base map (in a TIF format) and mark them using different symbols and colours. I've also mapped direct sightings locations by uploading GPS coordinates (in *text format) in ArcView or ArcMap software to display on a map the spatial distribution of direct manatee sightings. I have some knowledge on how to use MaxEnt and ArcGIS for modeling species or diseases distribution using online environmental variable such as vegetation and climate (Cam-bio 1 through 19 in ASC and PRJ format).

*-What GIS training are you interested in? I would be interested in advancing my knowledge in ArcGIS for desktop, in how to display points and layers on ArcGIS in a more effective way. I'm also eager to master how to perform spatial analysis and species distribution modeling using ArcGIS 10 software couple with other data analysis software such as R and MaxEnt. I need this skill because within our project, we are building a manatee stranding and sighting map that we will update on monthly basis as new sightings and stranding will be reported. And we would like to be able to predict places where next stranding will occur and what would be the marine mammals distribution in Cameroon coastal areas in the next 5 or 10 or 25 years considering anthropogenic factors. I'm also interested in GIS on the Web, this is my favorite, because one of our organization objectives is the visibility over our activities; and in order to provide to stakeholders update on strandings and sightings along the coastal area of Cameroon, we would like to be able to provide online mapping information to share with any person having interest to and I believe map is the best and easily understandable format to share information on actual marine mammal status in way that the majority of stakeholders including the local community feels comfortable with. In a medium term, I would like to build a social network online map whereby any person with a mobile phone with integrated GPS and appropriate apps, in case they encountered a marine mammals carcasses or alive ones, they would thus snap the object and it would be on one clic uploaded to the online local map data base.takoukam


*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: AMMCA (African Marine Mammal Conservation Association) is a recently created and affiliated non-profit association whose team has been working  for more than three years for the conservation of marine mammals such as West African manatees and dolphins  in Cameroon coastal area including protected areas such as Douala-Edea Wildlife Reserve and Lake Ossa Wildlife Reserve. AMMCA Mission is  to promote marine mammals conservation through education, sensitization, capacity building, eco-tourism development, monitoring and research. Our current project intends to improve available knowledge of these species ( by building a fisher community-network that will record and communicate sightings and captures, and by completing boat surveys in sites with high sighting reports. Data collected will then enable the editing of a distribution and density map and improve understanding on these species habitat use. This study would initiate a long-term monitoring scheme of the Cameroon coastal zone. This project is mentored and funded by WCS-UK (Wildlife Conservation Society- UK). AMMCA work in collaboration with local authorities, fisher's communities, CBOs and marine organizations such as ACBM (Association Camerounaise de Biologie Marine).

*-ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION: I'm the Project coordinateur at AMMCA. My role include writing and submitting proposals for funding, leading project implementation, data management and reporting. I'm currently leading a project entitled:” Assessing the distribution, bycatch and strandings of marine mammals on the Cameroon Coast " funded by WCS.  I'm in charge of planning field activities (meetings  with fishers communities, education, training, surveys) to the various study sites and managing and analyzing data collected from the field. Data in this project are mainly names and/or  GPS coordinate of  places where a marine mammal sighting have been reported by fishermen within the sighting and stranding network of this project. In fact each time that one of the 12 fishermen of the network would sight a marine mammals, he will call one study staff to inform him about this sighting and indicate the position where he sighted it. This  information will be recorded  and a field trip will be organized to confirm dead; Then, at the end of each month I will map all these sighting locations using ArcGIS 10 software,  a spatial analyses will be completed simple criteria, but will incorporate effort data recorded on datasheets. This spatial analysis that I run in ArcGIS 10 software  will then help us to identify areas  where it will best to  plan structured boat surveys to estimate relative abundance.



name: Ms Bridget Chitalud

email address(es): ,
title or role in the organization: SCGIS Student Member (Chair SCGIS Events Subcommittee)
interest keywords (please see instructions): envir education , Biodiversity Conservation
Organization name: Society for Conservation GIS Zambia Chapter
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Plot 1273 Kafue Road
*-Organization full mailing address, if different: C/O ZAWA, Private Bag 1 Chilanga
*-Country: Zambia
*-Work phone with country and area code: +260211278513
*-Work fax with country and area code: +260278365
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URL if any:
*-Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): Conservation GIS

*-Abstract/summary of the SCGIS Conference paper:
Zambia is endowed with a number of unique natural and cultural heritage sites of international, national, regional and local significance. There are more than 4000 heritage sites/associated objects managed under the National Heritage Conservation Commission Act in Zambia of which 80 are Declared National Monuments and only 88 are fully monitored and managed sites. These are sites of educational and tourism value. The heritage sites are grouped into two major categories; cultural and natural heritage. However, the paper will  mainly focus on the use GIS in management of natural heritage of Zambia. Objectives: to classify natural heritage found in Zambia; to show the importance of GIS in determining exact locations of natural heritage sites around the country; to determine the use of GIS in various monitoring and evaluation of natural heritage sites; recommend GIS in management of heritage sites in management of sites that are not accessible by road. GIS can be a very important tool in the management of natural heritage sites. It can also be used to monitor and evaluate the state of conservation of heritage sites.

describe the work that your current organization does: The National Heritage Conservation Commission derives it legal mandate from Cap 173 of the Laws of Zambia which provides for Conservation of ancient, cultural and natural heritage, relics and other objects of aesthetic, historical, pre-historical, archaeological or scientific interest; to provide for the regulation of archaeological excavations and export of relics. Therefore its main focus is to manage and conserve Zambia’s immovable cultural and natural heritage in posterity for public enjoyment and education.
Cap 173 of the Laws of Zambia provides for:

  1. Identification, recording, evaluation and documentation of heritage sites (new and old) eg Tuta Bridge. 
  2. Formulating conservation management policies and operational standards and guidelines for heritage conservation, development and management of heritage sites in Zambia

describe your personal role in the organization:d
I have been working with National Heritage Conservation Commission on several GIS projects as an intern on voluntary basis. These projects are identified and funded by the institution and it’s partners. One such project is the retrospective inventory of the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site Boundary Mapping requested by the World Heritage Centre UNESCO Headquarters in Paris France.  This was a mapping exercise for the world heritage site funded by National Heritage Conservation Commission. GIS experts from SCGIS Zambia Chapter helped in developing the procedures and defining the tasks of GIS in the project apart from mentorship. 

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: Since 2010, I have been involved in the conservation of Zambia’s heritage resources particularly natural heritage conservation through my internship work with National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC). I have been working closely with NHCC officers on several natural heritage conservation projects including monitoring and evaluation as well as management planning of natural heritage resources.
I have been involved in development of the institution database by taking and recording coordinates of Natural Heritage sites using GPS and Google earth for the sites that are not accessible by road. This serves as a source of information for further GIS data analysis. I have also used these coordinates to supplement the information in the national heritage register spreadsheet and import the data into ArcGIS.

describe your connection to the local SCGIS chapter: I have been a member of the SCGIS Zambia Chapter since the year 2011. As a member, I have attended several planning meetings for the chapter. In the year 2012 I was appointed as a member of the SCGIS Zambia Chapter Events (launch) Subcommittee by the executive committee.  This is a special committee to organize special events such as the launch of the SCGIS Zambia Chapter in Zambia and other public participations where the chapter is involved. Within this committee I was elected as chairperson during its first meeting. My roles as the chairperson were to spearhead the planning of the launch in terms of organizing meetings, allocate responsibilities to the members, identify potential sponsors, and lobby for funds among others.   

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: Natural Heritage Conservation work  involves conservation of a variety of unique heritage sites most of which encompass both the natural and cultural heritage aspects. Most of these sites have have both natural as well as cultural values. In some cases there is a very thin line to distinguish between the two aspects and it has been argued that what is known as natural heritage is basically cultural heritage since it is usually associated with mankind. This is also reflected in the implementation UNESCO Conventions where world Heritage Sites as considered as part of the Cultural Sector. The nearby communities have their own traditional/cultural values attached to these sites which they also wish to preserve.
The uniqueness of this type of conservation lies in the fact that each aspect of cultural or natural heritage is conserved differently by different conservation agents. Therefore monitoring the state of conservation of any type of heritage requires recognition of who the agent is and understanding the role of the agent and how each agent is involved. At times the agents themselves are found to be carriers of the heritage as in the case intangible cultural heritage. The many challenges within this conservation sector point to the fact that carriers/ agents of some of the heritage are very difficult to identify from communities despite their importance in heritage conservation. The local community plays a very important row in making these beliefs that are attached to the site known to the relevant authorities and the general public. This results in the conservation/preservation of the flora and fauna found in the forest. Identifying exact locations of some traditional sites that have been neglected for long periods of time also makes it difficult to defend their place/existence on the list of protected sites even if the local communities believe they exist. This makes it difficult to conserve such sites. Conducting heritage inspection for some of the sites that are not accessible by road is yet another challenge faced in the conservation of Zambia’s heritage. This is why out of 4052 declared heritage site only 88 are protected and fully managed by government.



Ms. Mei Kobayashic

email address(es):
title or role in the organization: student
interest keywords (please see instructions):
Alternative energy, anthropology, archeology, biodiversity, bioethics, biology, conservation (mammals in particular), data analysis, geology, landscape analysis, media art, remote sensing.
Organization name: Waseda University
*-Organization full street address (in your local format):
Waseda University
1-6-1, nishiwaseda, shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, 〒169-8050, Japan
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
Same as above
*-Country: Japan
*-Work phone with country and area code:+81 3 3203 4141
*-Work fax with country and area code: same as above
*-Organization Web site URL if any:

Overview: "In my opinion, the most important thing for conservation is not to increase the number of specialist who has knowledge, experience and leadership, but to involve people who are not interested in conservation into solving environmental problems. As GIS can add the information on the map with which we are familiar, it will be excellent tool to have people interested in conservation. Even though they might not initially be interested in conservation at all, if they knew the fact that a lot of things happen in our world through the map with GIS, it will bring their interest to environmental problem. Therefore I would like to study GIS to inspire people who are not interested in conservation and involve them into environmental problem. "

describe your personal role in the organization: I am a student in the department of Electrical Engineering and Bioscience, whose studies are composed of biology, electrical engineering and information engineering. I have studied about alternate energy, data analysis, biology, and statistics. My research focuses on spatial pattern analysis as a point process. For example, with analyzing the distribution of tree as a point process, it is possible to find the pattern of tree distribution. It has much to do with GIS. This study is also applicable for climate change projection or animal monitoring.

Besides, I had been working as a president of IAESTE (the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) committee in my university. IAESTE is international non-profit student exchange organization and provides students in technical degrees internship. Through IAESTE, I aimed to connect students who are highly skilled to local issues like agriculture, environmental problem and tsunami.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS:
- High School and University, 2007 - present
Although I was not involved in conservation and GIS before entering university, I had great interest in geography. I got Bronze twice at iGeo (International Geography Olympiad Japan region) in 2008 and 2009.

Currently, I am studying spatial pattern analysis as a point process in my university. For example, with analyzing the distribution of tree as a point process, it is possible to find the pattern of tree distribution. It has much to do with GIS. This study is also applicable for climate change projection or animal monitoring. Besides, I have strong interests in conservation issues and have visited Biodiversity Hotspots personally; California, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands, Philippines, Sundaland, New Caledonia and Japan.

- Other Activities
1. Internship at local NGO in Mauritius, February - March 2012
I have worked at Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) as a trainee. MWF is the biggest environmental NGO in Mauritius and has several protected areas. I was monitoring birds and reptiles, and mapped these data by hand. I will suggest them to use GIS to conduct their work more efficiently after I participated to this training. Besides, I think that they can use GIS to introduce their protected area to attract support.

2. Internship at Conservation International Japan, June 2012 - present
I have been an intern at the Japan Program of Conservation International (CI) since June 2012. CI is engaged in conservation projects and policies globally, and helping Japan Program exposed me to a new dimension of conservation. Among many activities I have been involved at CI, the most relevant to GIS is communication support about KBA (Key Biodiversity Areas) and OHI (Ocean Health Index), both of which use GIS extensively.

3 ERCA overseas training in Malaysia, August and September 2012
I participated in ERCA (Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency) overseas training. The purpose of this training is to learn the state of conservation in Southeast Asia. I visited local NGO, government, Malaysian branch of Environmental NGO like WWF, and protected area. Some government and NGO used GIS to understand the situation of protected area and national park, and I understood the importance of using GIS effectively.

describe your connection to the local SCGIS chapter: SCGIS Japan Chapter is taking its shape right now. With the experience from this scholarship, I would like to help it grow. Since GIS is more popular for city planning or disaster prevention than conservation in Japan, I would like to promote using GIS for conservation and increase the number of students in GIS community; first, by linking them with large, active field of conservation GIS.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: The most unique work which I did is to analyze tweet on twitter and find what kind of words people link to the word 'Biodiversity'. According to this work, the specialists think that biodiversity is related to international conference like COP10, or words like ' Convention on Biological Diversity'. In the other hand, people who are not working for conservation think that biodiversity is related to 'animal' or 'nature'. Thus, by analyzing people's way of thinking, we can develop the effective way to enlighten people on environment or conservation. The most challenging work is to visit protected areas and local NGO in Southeast Asia and Africa, and write reports about their activities. Though Japan is identified as one of 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world, the conservation of wildlife or management of protected areas is not so active compared to other countries. Through my experience in Southeast Asia and Africa, I realized that there are two reason; one reason is we do not have efficient way to attract support for conservation people, and other reason is the use of GIS for conservation is developing in Japan. Therefore, I wrote several reports about the way of environment education or the activities at national reserve or NGO in developing countries to stimulate Japanese NGO's activities.



Ms Fahiema Danielsd

email address(es):
title or role in the organization: Senior biodiversity planner
interest keywords (please see instructions): agriculture, analysis, aquatic, biodiversity, birds, botany, climate, climate change, coast, conservation, core-corridor, critical sites, data center, data source, ecology, forest, GAP analysis, landscape analysis, marine, modeling, monitoring, planning policy, remote sensing, river, species, statistics, vegetation, water,
Organization name: South African National Biodiversity Institute
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Kirstenbosch gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town. 7700.
*-Organization full mailing address, if different: Private bag x7, Claremont, 7735
*-Country: South Africa
*-Work phone with country and area code:+27217998854
*-Work fax with country and area code:
*-Organization Web site URL if any:

describe the work that your current organization does: I work for the South African National Biodiversity Institute ( We are a parastatal organization, with some of our funding coming from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and the rest from funds we get from project money. We are mandated to lead and coordinate research, and monitor and report on the state of biodiversity in South Africa. SANBI is unique in that it forms a host of functions, we have established botanical gardens spread throughout the country and are responsible for the management of these. Our gardens aid in showcasing biodiversity to the general public, and have educational programmes for schools and people in the communities surrounding each garden.
We also have a strong research focus in biosystematics and collections, applied biodiversity research, climate change and bio-adaptation, and biodiversity planning and policy advice. Our work ranges from work at grass roots level with our municipal programmes working with local people; our municipal programme supports local and district municipalities with biodiversity information and tools in order to plan better. We are also able to take key research and use it to inform policy work and we can drive research within the institution to address serious policy gaps.
SANBI not only works within the biodiversity sector, we are working with industry in order to mainstream biodiversity and learn from other sectors. We have a working relationship with the department of agriculture, department of water affairs, we are currently in the process of drawing up biodiversity and mining guidelines, we also work with the housing development agency to support them with biodiversity information and guide them on environmentally sensitive areas where housing needs to be avoided and guide them on where to ideally locate houses for a growing nation.
In addition to our national work, we are signatories to CITES and the CBD and SANBI is involved in commenting on document and producing reports for the CBD. SANBI staff members are also part of the CITES, IUCN and TRAFFIC scientific authority.

describe your personal role in the organization: I initially joined SANBI in 2005 working in the threatened species programme, I then went on the pursue my MSc in conservation biology in 2006 and worked on a SANBI project using GIS to identify dthreatened ecosystems based on threatened species associations. Since then, I worked on developing maps for all South Africa’s threatened ecosystems. I have done spatial analysis investigating how many threatened species are conserved inside and outside of protected areas for our CBD reports. I have worked on a project looking at conservation genetics of a threatened Protea with disjunct distributions on a highly fragmented landscape.
Since I rejoined SANBI after my MSc, in 2007, I feel like my biggest contributions have been in the listing of threatened terrestrial ecosystems and my work on the National Biodiversity Assessment 2011. My MSc work identified threatened ecosystems based on threatened species associations. I did some exploratory work on listing threatened ecosystems, and was instrumental in getting all the maps for each of the 220+ ecosystems into the working document. I also prepared the GIS data for serving it to the public, once the list was gazette and had legal implications through the Environmental impact Assessment process in South Africa.
For the National biodiversity assessment (NBA) I was tasked with doing an evaluation of where threatened s species are concentrated in South Africa, for reptiles, butterflies, birds and plants. I also had to assess the protection level of all South Africa’s vegetation types, by evaluating how well each vegetation type is represented in our protected area network. I did an analysis of how where the increase in protection has happened for our terrestrial environment since the last national spatial biodiversity assessment in 2004. I was also tasked with creating the very first point locality map of medicinal plants for South Africa. In addition, I had to write and edit the terrestrial component report and create numerous maps for the NBA 2011’s summary report, its terrestrial component and one ma for the freshwater component. I am also responsible for creating the text for the page, blurbs and metadata that will be served with this data.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I started using GIS for conservation while I was doing my MSc in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town. My thesis would help to address one of the key requirements of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act of South Africa, the listing of threatened ecosystems. My mini thesis was used to identify gaps in identifying threatened ecosystems using habitat loss data only. My study area was the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. This work allowed the more stringent environmental management regulations to be applied to the seven additional ecosystems I identified.
I have been involved in a project where we are trying to set up a monitoring of biodiversity loss using historic data and trying to see if we can interpret trends from these data sets. This is one project that I would like to revisit and redo, once I have better remote sensing and GIS skills as I feel it’s important for biodiversity loss monitoring. I have also worked on threatened species listing projects as well as a population genetics study of a charismatic silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) in the Cape Region of South Africa to try and understand its conservation needs.
Once again, by far, I feel my biggest contribution to conservation in South Africa through the use of GIS has been for the work I did on the National Biodiversity Assessment because this one of the most used biodiversity resources in south Africa and the terrestrial component (for which I did most of the technical work) gets used more than most of the other components.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: I am fortunate enough to be working in a country with three biodiversity hotspots and there is so much more to be excited about. I am currently enjoying working on a municipal summaries project, where we summarize all the biodiversity information for each municipality and give them the data, and it will be available on our website for download. They can then use this information as a base layer in their 5 year integrated development plans, this tool makes it easier for their development applications in future, as we can avoid “critical biodiversity areas” being earmarked for development, and better outcomes for biodiversity conservation.
Similarly, I am working with the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, to create an area wide plan for areas where farmers can see what parts of their lands will trigger different legislative activities. This will help farmers know where on their land will be easier to develop and where wont. I think this is so much better than the old system, where there is illegal development and farmers plead ignorance or get fined.
One of the biggest challenges for me in the GIS work that I do is that there is little room for growth in GIS because our institution uses spatial products in so much of the policy work that we do, so there is always a lot of work for us to do, but we don’t have someone to learn from. I am the most experienced GIS person at SANBI and am therefore embarking on a PhD this year so that I can gain additional GIS skills through project work and working with a university supervisor as we don’t have the capacity within SANBI.



name: Mr Askarinta Adi d

Your direct email address(es):,
*-Your job title or role in the organization: GIS Coordinator
*-Your own interest keywords: alternate energy, hydrology, mitigation, climate change

Organization name: Indonesian Conservation Community – WARSI (KKI-WARSI)
*-Organization full street address: Jl. Inu Kertapati No.12 Pematangsulur, Telanaipura, Jambi. 36124
*-Organization full mailing address:
*-Country: INDONESIA
*-Work phone: +62-741-66678
*-Work fax: +62-741-670509
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URL:
*-Organization subject keywords: advocacy, agriculture, alternate energy, analysis, anthropology, biodiversity, climate, climate change, conservation, education, envir education, envir justice, envir law, forest, health, hydrology, landscape analysis, mitigation, sustainable development, vegetation


Overview: "I work in KKI-WARSI as the GIS Coordinator. WARSI is an NGO that works to revive the principles of conservation xof indigenous people and encourage the development of a model of conservation, in particular in Sumatra and in general in Indonesia. WARSI’s goal is to strive for the creation and development of the principles of just community-based conservation based on equivalence, participation, openness and sustainability so as to meet the needs of human life and welfare of the present without threatening the life and needs of the next generation.d
One of our major activities is work in Bukit Duabelas National Park, located in central Jambi province, with the Orang Rimba community. The Orang Rimba are an indigenous Jambi tribe who live in secondary forests and are quite dependent on natural resources. There are about 3,800 Orang Rimba scattered throughout Jambi province in small groups. One living area for the Orang Rimba is Bukit Duabelas National Park lowland forest. Initially, this area was a 37,000 hectares (ha) biosphere reserve. Areas around the biosphere reserve were already provisioned for plantation companies, but this region was also the living place for the Orang Rimba. Since 1997, WARSI has worked together with the Orang Rimba to fight for their living area. Through a long struggle, the Minister of Forestry revoked plantation licenses in the region and changed the area into Bukit Duabelas National Park, specifically earmarked for Orang Rimba communities with a broad reach of 60,500 ha. At present, Bukit Duabelas National Park is inhabited by 1,700 Orang Rimba under the leadership of 9 Tumenggungs (Tumenggung is the supreme leader of the Orang Rimba).
The Ministry of Forestry manages the park and established a technical implementation unit of Bukit Duabelas National Park Authority. WARSI works together with this unit to make areal management plans, that accommodate Orang Rimba existence, and to continuously monitor the rate of forest deforestation. Even as an area designated for the Orang Rimba, Bukit Duabelas National Park did not escape the efforts of others to occupy it, either for illegal logging activities or occupation of land by outsiders. This leads to high rates of deforestation in the Bukit Duabelas National Park. Therefore, WARSI continues to advocate for strengthening the life of the Orang Rimba and is also advocating to prevent illegal logging and forest encroachment.d
WARSI also supports advocacy efforts to protect the roaming areas of Sumatran tigers, orangutans and elephants in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, and assists villages to gain official community management rights of forest areas. WARSI successfully supported the Lubuk Beringin village, in Bathin II Ulu subdistrict, Bungo District, to gain the first Village Forest governance rights in Indonesia. At present, WARSI continues activities to support and facilitate the community managing the forest governance rights. The Minister of Forestry has issued 23 decrees granting community forestry rights of the other forest villages in three districts, namely, 17 villages in Merangin district, three in Bungo district and three in Batanghari district.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I have been working at WARSI since 1997. I am the coordinator of WARSI’s GIS and Mapping division. I am involved in support of all the WARSI activities. It started from collecting data in the field, to process them to produce maps for WARSI studies and advocacy efforts. I manage a GIS team of 5 full-time staff. We directly support Bukit Duabelas National Park Authority to develop management zoning that accommodates the existence of the Orang Rimba. The National Park is divided into several zones and areas such as the core zone must be fully managed as conservation areas. The core zone location is determined based on the area of forest protection by Orang Rimba customs. These areas are traditionally managed by the Orang Rimba and consist of jungle rubber, agro-forest area, and fruit trees like durian.
We have also taught local government staff how to use GIS and have assisted with data and knowledge transfer among local governments and other environmental NGOs.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: The most interesting is the participatory mapping conducted jointly with local communities and indigenous people like Orang Rimba. Besides the GIS and mapping studies, we also teach villagers and Orang Rimba to operate GPS units to determine the location of their traditional area and then it will be included into a Bukit Duabelas National Park management plan. These GPS points will also be used to obtain clear boundaries as reference to determine the zoning of the Bukit Duabelas National Park.
The most challenging is that GIS equipment and software is expensive and advances quickly. It is difficult to keep up with recent products and the latest techniques. WARSI wants to increase our GIS capacity, but we are limited by finances and knowledge of all the different and most recent products/techniques.



Mr Zhiwen Zhu, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) China Programd
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): Room 301, Huayuanguanjun Building, No. 66 Beishatan, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, P.R.China
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Country: China
*-Work phone with country and area code: +86 0433-52071604
*-Work fax with country and area code: +86 0433-52071604          
*-Main email: wcschina at
*-Organization Web site URL if any: ;

My work in WCS China Program makes me realize that I need to improve my conservation GIS skills and experience of applying GIS in conservation, creating advanced maps, and building conservation models. Currently, I learn conservation GIS by myself through reading technical books, surfing the Internet and asking my schoolmates.

. I completed my M.S in Cartography and Geography Information System in University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011, and B.E. in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in Wuhan University in 2008. During the seven years of my study in the university and graduate school, I systematically learnt GIS and other relevant fields, including Remote Sensing (RS) and GPS. After graduation, I participated in many conservation projects relevant with GIS, from which I gained rich experience about creating maps and GIS training. ArcGIS 9.2 & 9.3 is the most frequently-used GIS software for me. I began to learn the software to vectorize maps and do spatial data analysis in 2007, MIST & SMART 1.0 is the second most frequently-used GIS software for me, which is develped based on MapObjects of ESRI and specifically designed for wildlife protection, management, data collection and analysis. ( ; Secondly, I have learnt extending ArcGIS and  MapInfo with my own modules created in Visual Basic and C#.  I developed two GIS systems based on ArcObjects and Visual Basic for Application (VBA) respectively with the function of adding and deleting layers, displaying, zooming and moving maps, as well as querying. I also developed advanced GIS systems with more functions like creating thematic maps, measuring, symbol selection and statistics based on MapX and MapObjects.

Secondly, I have learnt extending ArcGIS and  MapInfo with my own modules created in Visual Basic and C#.  I developed two GIS systems based on ArcObjects and Visual Basic for Application (VBA) respectively with the function of adding and deleting layers, displaying, zooming and moving maps, as well as querying. I also developed advanced GIS systems with more functions like creating thematic maps, measuring, symbol selection and statistics based on MapX and MapObjects.


MAP: Hunchun Forestry Investigation Team (HFIT) MIST Patrol Map From April, 2012 to June, 2012 The map demonstrates patrol routes and frequency of Hunchun Forestry Investigation Team from April, 2012 to June, 2012. The locations of wildlife and logging recorded by HFIT are also shown in the map.

. I participated in Changtang monitoring capacity building project held from August to September, 2012, and was responsible for training 22 forestry bureau stuff from Ali Prefecture and Nagqu prefecture (two prefectures of Tibet in Southeastern China) how to use ArcGIS to analyse monitoring data and create maps. I also gave presentation to introduce GIS to WCS stuff and trained them how to use ArcGIS to create maps. I trained forestry official bureau stuff in Hunchun how to apply MIST in their conservation work to manage and analyze wildlife and human activity data.

The project I plan to bring to the training is the survey of Amur tiger habitat degradation factors in Hunchun, which may be held from June to September, 2013. The purpose of the survey is to understand the status and trend of human disturbance in Hunchun through investigating landuse in Hunchun, especially pasture,  farmland, mine, Ginseng land and frog farm. Firstly, I need to participate in the work of designing the survey. I need to provide information about the places which might bear human disturbance through analyzing various data resources: (1) Human activity data gained through monitoring work in the past. Since 2008, rangers of HNR began to record human activity information. The information will be used for determining the potential sites that bear human disturbance. (2) Remote sensing images. Landsat TM/ETM images are now available in the Internet free of charge. However, the spatial resolution of these images is 30m and may not be enough for identifying human disturbance areas. Thus I might need to use Google Earth to find the possible areas. Secondly, I need to establish a model to analyze human disturbance trend and identify tiger habitats in Hunchun. Because the price of cattle increases sharply in recent years, farmers raise more cattle than before, which occupy larger areas and destroy forests in tiger habitats. Meanwhile, more fences are built up for breeding these cattle, which reduce the areas of tiger habitats. Thus a model should be built to analyze pastures and other landuse area, to determine habitat degradation status and trend in Hunchun.



Copyright © ESRI and each respective author/contributor listed herein.
compilation : Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, May 2007 & 2020
Send your comments to: ecp2 at esri dot com