School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Theses

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    Applications of GIS in community based forest management in Australia (and Nepal)
    BARAL, HIMLAL ( 2004)
    Community forestry is now a popular approach in forest management globally. Although local communities have previously been involved in forest management in various minor ways, community-based forestry is very new in the Australian context. Because of the multiple interests of forest users and other community interest groups, a wider range of up-to-date information is being requested in community forestry, than has been used in ‘conventional’ government-based forest management in the past. The overall aim of this research was to explore the potential and constraints for the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in community forest management in Australia and to relate the results also to Nepal. Specific objectives were to: (i) review the applications of GIS in forestry and community forestry worldwide, (ii) determine stakeholders’ views on their requirements for the use of GIS in community-based forest management, (iii) prepare and demonstrate various practical applications of GIS requested by community groups in the Wombat State Forest, (iv) identify the strengths and limitations of GIS in community forestry, and (v) relate findings on GIS applications in Australia to community forestry in Nepal. This study involved a combination of three approaches: review of global literature on GIS, use of GIS and related technologies, and participatory action research. A wide variety of spatial information was identified through community groups as important for community forest planning and management.