GeoVille, together with representatives of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented their recent efforts to refine existing and develop new diagnostic tools to measure different dimensions of forest dependence at the World Banks Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) at Washington, DC.
In a joint presentation GeoVille and IUCN introduced a novel empirical methodological concept that has the potential to significantly scale-up data collection and analysis through use of earth observation. In particular, the concept can be used to identify vulnerable forest-dependent communities and gives a first insight into the complex relationship between socio-economic aspects and the diverse facets of forest resources use. The foundation of the proposed approach is a statistical linkage between ground-based survey information and ecosystem profiles derived from geospatial and available Earth Observation (EO) data. By incorporating remote sensed datasets, the concept provides a timesaving and cost-effective way to i) optimize investment decisions that would improve individual and community resilience and ii) provide verification of targeted interventions to confirm that investments produced the desired results.
The forest dependency study was presented during the BBL, drawing on country work in Eastern Europe and Russia. The main issue was to explore how this work could meet analytical needs in World Bank operations. The IUCN/GeoVille presentation was followed by commentaries by Bank staff on the utility of these diagnostics for the implementation of the upcoming Forest Action Plan and other policy and operational instruments.