A workshop entitled "Biodiversity Awareness Workshop using Open Source Geospatial Software (FOSS4G) Tools" organized by OSGeo-India, French Institute of Pondicherry & IIIT, Hyderabad, was held at the IFP on August 19, 2015.
The Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot, is facing a huge crisis due to developmental demands. While this poses a biodiversity management challenge, localised studies and disparate datasets limit the ability to upscale studies/results to a level that can provide actionable inputs to decision makers and planners. New and innovative methods using geospatial technology can help bridge this gap if stakeholders have access not only to the data but also to the appropriate tools for informed decision making. This activity will train participants to equip policy makers and other stakeholders converting science-questions to an appropriate geospatial query that can provide the right insights/answers drawing upon the data base. As a part of the proposed activity, OSGeo-India along with the French Institute, Pondicherry would like to begin an initiative to equip stakeholders of Biodiversity of Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu state to harness the state of art open source geospatial technology tools at multiple levels, viz., mobile, desktop and web platforms. Toward this goal, one day stakeholder workshop has been planned for a cross section of stakeholders such as researchers, students, State Biodiversity boards, Forest department officials, line agencies and NGOs impacting on biodiversity. The topics to be covered during the workshop include the following.
1. An overview of Western Ghats biodiversity and the need for Spatial data - Limitations and lacunae in current understanding based on description, monitoring and management of biodiversity.
2. How Spatial data helps provide the larger perspective for systemic understanding
3. Demonstration and Case studies of Applications of desktop, web and mobile GIS in management of biodiversity
4. Plan for intensive two week TOT workshops , utility of the trainees and mainstreaming capacity building in the respective agencies using FOSS4G tools.
5. Open Discussion session to highlight the challenges in the State for adoption and use of Geospatial and related technologies and
6. Identifying and nominating a state level nodal agency for follow-up activities in the use of open source GIS for Biodiversity.
Click here for more the concept note and program of the workshop.



Care Earth Trust

French Institute of Pondicherry

1. State of Biodiversity in Tamil Nadu - Dr. Ranjit Daniels, Care Earth
2. Mapping for Effective Conservation Planning - Dr. B.R. Ramesh, IFP
3. Introduction to FOSS4G tools in desktop, web and mobile platforms - Gowtham G, IIIT
4. FOSS4G tools in mapping for conservation - Case Studies  - Dr . P. Rama Chandra Prasad, IFP
5. Using R as geo-statistical tool: a few examples - Dr. MaximeRéjou-Méchain, IFP
6. India Biodiversity Portal - An Overview  - Rohit George, IFP
7. Planning for future capacity building activities and Summary of Workshop  - Dr. S Narendra Prasad, OSGeo-India,Hyderabad