Digitalization eases forest management. Digitalization refers to the use of digital technology and data (digitized and natively digital) to generate money, improve business, replace/transform business processes (rather than merely digitizing them), and build a digital business environment in which digital information is central. Access to information, easy and immediate communication, and the ability to exchange information, as well as new jobs and enhanced economic competitiveness, are all clear benefits of digitalization.
Officials claim that switching from a paper to a digital platform ie. digitalization has resulted in increased productivity, openness, and uniformity.
After turning to digitalization a year ago, data input and record keeping have become much easier for forest officers in Kapilvastu.
Forest offices in Kapilvastu have made the shift from paper to digital, with officers like Basanta Thapa, assistant forest officer of the Gorusinghe-based Sub Division Forest Office in Kapilvastu, using tablets to enter data such as tree names, sizes, GPS coordinates, and other facts.
According to Thapa, the details are promptly submitted to the Division Forest Office in Kapilvastu, the district’s head forest office.
“The forest offices have gotten more technologically advanced, which has made our work much easier,” Thapa added. “I had to keep a diary to record my daily visits to the woodlands. We took a while to adjust to technology, but after a year of regular use, we’ve made significant progress.”
Regular field visits by a team of forest officials, including technologists, are made to monitor the trees in the forests.
“We enter all of the relevant details of our visits into the Scientific Forest Management Support System software,” Thapa explained. “Our daily job has become more efficient as a result of this.”
Through an application, the entered data is saved in the Division Forest Office’s primary server at the district headquarters in Kapilvastu.
“After the process is completed, officials at the district headquarters examine the details and provide authorization to cut down trees. We get a digital copy of the approval and don’t have to wait for long forms,” Thapa explained. “It saves a significant amount of time and effort.”
Sub divisional forest offices in Kapilvastu’s Patana, Pipara, Badhara, Motipur, Gorusinghe, and Chetaradenhi have been using the program for data storage for the past year.
Officials in these offices, like Thapa, collect data using tabs.
“The new method has helped us minimize our workload,” Thapa added. “The software makes it possible for us to keep track of tree length and circumference, which is quite useful. It also offers very little space for error when it comes to collecting records and tracking trees in various community and collaborative forests.”
In the Kapilvastu district, the program is used by 69 community forests and two collaborative forests.
According to the Division Forest Office in Kapilvastu, the program was introduced across all forest offices for a cost of Rs 600,000.
“Since the program was introduced, data management has gotten much easier. The information gathered is also secure and dependable. According to Ishwori Prasad Paudel, division forest officer in Kapilvastu, “the use of software has given immediacy, transparency, and uniformity in our work at all levels.”
Despite the initial doubts of forest officials, according to Madan Mohan Shandilya, assistant forest officer and software program coordinator, the software has proven to be a blessing.
“Learning to use the program and tablet was difficult at first, but now everyone has mastered it,” Shandilya said. “We don’t have to rely on old files to access our records any longer. Our employees’ productivity has also improved.”
Source – The Kathmandu Post