Community labs for conservation

Land is a precious natural resource which has ever increasing demand due to increasing population and human needs. There is a need to map its usage patterns, climatic conditions and monitor the changes to plan conservation. Involving community in this mapping enables in understanding existing environment and come up with solution models to conserve it. Open Source and Open data can be a very useful in this context and Kaiinos with its exposure in this domain can play part in this community activity.

Role of Community labs

  • To own up biodiversity hotspot in their region and generate datasets pertaining to them which help in managing forests and arrest land degradation

  • To work with us on creating pool of researchers who work on generating seasonal land cover maps,gather species distribution data and work with local communities,create community forums and enable people build strategies for conservation.

Role of Kaiinos

  • Develop and maintain platform to capture and store satellite or climate datasets.

  • Coordinate with the community labs in promoting data journalism

  • Conduct workshops for the stakeholders to build localized strategies

Potential Collaborators

Organizations like IIIT Hyderabad, Open Source Geospatial Foundation, Holkar Science College (Indore), Goa University, SRTM University-Nanded, Andhra University-Visakhapatnam, Mahatma Gandhi University-Kottayam, Wildlife Institute of India-Dehradun.

Data and Technology

  1. Landsat data from NASA useful to map forest cover, surface water
  2. Sentinel 2 data from ESA useful to map forest cover, urbanization, surface water
  3. Sentinel 1 data useful for all weather land cover mapping.
  4. LST,Evapotranspiration data from MODIS(NASA) for understanding health of vegetation.
  5. Pollution data from Sentinel 5p to understand the levels of pollution.
  6. Openstreetmap data, CEISEN data for road density, population density etc.

These datasets populate this architecture and help people simulate scenarios to check the outcomes. The aim of this approach is to improve role of spatial data in decision making.

The source code generated as part of this process will be maintained under permissible Open source Licences (GPLV3 or Apache or MIT) .

The data generated as part of this process will be under CC BY-SA with due attribution to source and volunteer/organization generating the derived data.

Potential use cases

Here are some of the potential use cases that these labs can address.
  1. Identification of potential sites for planting and water harvesting
  2. Impact assessment of the activities like solar power plants, mining, reservoirs on local environment.
  3. Water budgeting for agriculture and yield estimation
  4. Water and air pollution monitoring
  5. Assess Impact of urbanization on surface temperature and water bodies.
  6. Data transparency and Journalism leading to data driven policy making

Projects taken up in these lines

Conservation projects need three things. Technology/Data, User groups who are convinced that technology and data can make things better, supporting these user groups by proactively engaging them.

Kaiinos has developed technology and datasets for Irrigation and Agriculture departments in
Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In Telangana we have created a database of 35000+ surface water bodies and their potential for rejuvenation. In Madhya Pradesh datasets were created to cost effective ways of irrigating command areas and in Chattisgarh similar datasets were used to identify yields from farming. With MoEFCC we created spatial data infrastructure for open datasets in Western Ghats and now to different forest departments across country.

But most of these activities are done for Government for particular use case. So sustaining these activities was not in our hands. With community labs we will be able engage the user community better by working with them in their region and identifying challenges that are there locally.

Funding need

We plan to start with 37 Ramsar sites which are important for their biodiversity in India. To build a platform, generate base datasets, identify collaborators and create a research pool, we are looking to create a team of 3 people working full time on this.

To work on these sites we are looking to create 2-4 community labs. Each lab will have 3-4 workstations which connect to a NAS at Kaiinos.

This is the funding that we are looking at

Year 1 - 18-25 lakhs for platform development and purchase of hardware
Year 2 and 3 - 12-15 lakhs a year for workshops and people costs.

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Hello @trsraman @karanthkk could this be a point of interest /collaboration?

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