Bhubaneswar : The global environment is deteriorating, climate is changing, horrible weather patterns are happening, and flora and fauna are declining at the present juncture. For addressing to these challenges, the scientists, planners and administrators are working very hard. In this context, various scientific tools and technologies are of utmost importance, which can be applied for better environmental preservation and management. Geographical information system or GIS is such a tool that is used to collect, analyze and distribute information on various aspects of environment. Several research agencies use GIS technology to manage and plan their environmental projects. This space technology helps immensely in observing and quantifying the environmental changes at scales which were not possible earlier. The GIS makes it easy to observe the distribution of forests using satellite images. GIS, together with other tools such as satellite images and documentation, helps organizations to save more trees and control the distribution of forests. In order to solve the water issues, the movement of water can also be tracked. GIS is also crucial for creating an inventory of our animals and plants living in nature. Hence, the GIS technology needs to be used to greater extent for preserving our environment. While participating in a seminar on the theme ‘Observing environmental changes from space’, organized by the Orissa Environmental Society (OES), environment experts expressed such opinion.
Dr. Sandeep Narayan Kundu, Prof. in the Geology Department of Ravenshaw University joined the programme as the chief speaker. He vividly explained the space related technologies that provide better strategies for observation of environmental changes with potential insights on the cause and effect. He opined that space technologies have immensely helped in examining and quantifying environmental changes at scales which were not possible earlier and narrated the diverse applications of GIS technology. Prof. Kundu presented a case study of environmental change in the tropic, more specifically in Indonesia and Malaysia, which involves massive monoculture of palm oil plantation and consequent environmental changes. Chairing the programme, former PCCF Dr. Bijay Ketan Patnaik opined that in addition to other initiatives, use of various technologies such as GIS has created new opportunities for the protection and conservation of nature. Secretary Dr. Jaya Krushna Panigrahi, while presenting the welcome address, explained how present conservation initiatives are insufficient in maintaining biodiversity and naturally functioning ecosystems. He emphasized that GIS is an essential instrument in accelerating efforts to preserve the species diversity in nature. Dr. Lala AK Singh, vice-president emphasized on making comparative study of both satellite-based data with the ground realities so as to derive infallible conclusions. Er. Binod Chandra Padhi, Prof. Siba Prasad Adhikari, Dr. Prasanna Kumar and Dr. Rakesh Ranjan Thakur presented their views on the theme. Former secretary of Odisha Bigyan Academy, Dr. Rekha Das presented the vote of thanks. Many environmentalists, academics and nature-lovers attended the seminar.