MP Kanha Project: M-Mantra
The Madhya Pradesh Forest Department [MPFD] was facing challenges, both natural and technological. Due to the vast terrain in the forest the department was unable to track movements of the wildlife in the land, map land holdings in the areas around the jungles and respond to forest fires on time. This was further compounded by the fact that the remote areas had low connectivity. Furthermore, biodiversity was threatened due to human interference. These forests are primarily located in geographically impenetrable regions far beyond the reach of modern telecommunication facilities. To enable the organization to plan and effectively monitor the forest, Microsoft India partnered with the IT division of the MPFD. Systems like M-Mantra for Forest and Wild Life Management have been introduced to enable the organization to plan and implement related policies and effectively monitor the forests and wildlife. As part of the M-Mantra for Forest and Wild Life Management programme, several applications for personal digital assistants (PDAs) have been developed including the Fire Alert Messaging System (FAMS), Forest Dwellers Survey System and Wildlife Management System. Till-date, over 10,000 fires have been contained, 181,355 hectares of land have been mapped and 28,751 animals have been sighted under this program till date..
What do we deliver?
Project Kanha delivers a reliable solution to the problems of wildlife tracking, mapping land holdings and managing forest fires via: Development of computer based communication network for tele-transporting of information Procurement of data collection devices and development of applications to collect real time information Creation of a Data Center / Server Farm for storage and processing of information Sharpening ICT skills of the manpower to efficiently to facilitate usage of the whole system was the most important aspect of the initiative. However this became the last priority as this could happen only after all the above mentioned activities were completed.
Whom we deliver?
The project is currently functional in the Madhya Pradesh Forest department. The applications are used by various departments at the Forest department- Office staffs, patrolling officers, wildlife researchers, Managers & functional foremen. The applications are so easy to use that even the Forest dwellers and villagers have started using them to survey their land holdings.
How is the project unique?
Some of the key aspects that make the project unique include: I. Integration of various technologies: The project has adopted best practices prevailing in the industry and has integrated various technologies to improve the results. It represents a unique style of monitoring systems for good citizen-centric governance. The following technologies have been integrated into a single frame to serve data in a visualization mode to make monitoring an effective tool even for a lay man. a. Space Technology b. GIS c. GPS d. Image Processing e. Mobile Computing f. Communication Technology II. Real Time Governance: Introduction of the Strategic Planning Implementation Monitoring & Command Room has facilitated surveillance of activities of the frontline staff engaged in important assignments. In the command room all the land based activities can now be consistently monitored. This facility has created a new dimension in governance and has improved management in remote areas III. Web-based Workflows for management/monitoring- Most of the practices are based on web based workflows which has brought about accountability, transparency and efficiency of individuals for management and monitoring. IV. Online availability of Centralized repository of data – MPFD now boasts of state level centralized common databases that are not only available online but is live as well with on-the-spot data entry of newly generated data V. Efficient mapping of land holdings: The Forest Dwellers Survey System has enabled every land holding to be plotted and verified with simple mobile application that runs on the handy GPS-enabled PDA of the forest officers. VI. Secured forests and wildlife: The Fire Alert Messaging System and Wildlife Management System have led to all incidences of fire and poaching being captured and transferred to the field enabling necessary actions immediately. Effective monitoring has resulted in correct reporting of fire and poaching incidents resulting in quick response.
Keeping in mind the success of the project, the future looks promising in terms of increasing the area of implementation. Over 10,000 fires have already been contained, 181,355 hectares of land have been mapped and 28,751 animals have been sighted under this program till date across the Kanha Forest Reserve. The long-term vision for the program is to reach out to all the forest departments across India to aide them in effective planning and monitoring of the forests.
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