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A participatory GIS for community forestry user groups in Nepal Putting people before the technology

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Document begins: A participatory GIS for community 3 forestry user groups in Nepal Putting people before the technology Gavin Jordan and Bhuban Shre s t h a Introduction Box 1 What is GIS? There is an increasing interest in the use of Geographic A GIS (Geographic Information System) is a tool for enabling Information Systems (GIS) in a participatory context, with mapping and spatial analysis to be performed for a variety of this development either causing alarm or being seen as applications, including natural resource management and planning providing a potentially valuable tool. The key reasons activities. It now refers almost exclusively to computer- b a s e d behind this have already been given in issue 33 of PLA technologies that allow thematic layers of spatial information (such Notes (Abbot et al., 1998). This article explores some of as forest distribution or population densities) to be overlaid, enabling relationships between the layers to be examined. GIS is the benefits and concerns of using GIS as a participatory viewed by some as an exciting development, as it allows spatial tool, using a case study to provide real-life context. It is relationships for social, economic and natural resource issues, which mainly concerned ...

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