AND MAIN THEMES OF THE SEMINAR
The developing countries of the world, which have the largest share of the world's population, have witnessed different rates of economic growth and development over the past few decades. Particularly following the recent economic crisis in Asia, there is growing realisation of the need for balance between urban & industrial development and rural & agricultural development. Large proportions of the populations in developing countries still live in rural areas, are engaged in the agricultural sector, and are poor. Population growth exerts increasing pressure on the exploitation of land and water resources, and raises concern over non-sustainability of agricultural production and threats to food security.
The Fifth GISDECO Seminar focuses on GIS tools for rural development. It is appropriate that this Seminar is held in Asia for the first time, for GIS technology has made significant inroads into Asia, particularly over the past decade. The main purpose of the seminar is to bring together experts and practitioners of GIS and related technologies to share practical experiences and the state-of-the-art advancements to gain better insight into how these technologies may be effectively used to support policy formulation, planning and management of the natural and human resources for progressive rural development. Toward this objective, we call for papers and posters on the following themes:
FORMAT OF THE SEMINAR
The seminar will start with one keynote session followed by four theme sessions consisting of a session keynote speaker and a number of relevant papers. Each session will end with a discussion and the seminar will finish with a panel discussion and a closing address. The posters will be displayed in an adjoining room for discussion during tea and lunch breaks. Another adjoining exhibition room will be equipped to offer hardware- and software companies, technical engineering companies, and GIS-researchers the possibility to present relevant hardware, programs, and GIS-applications.
1. GIS for addressing biophysical aspects of rural development: The natural resource base is the key to productivity in the rural agricultural sector. Characterising and understanding the bio-physical environment is a pre-requisite for rational allocation of natural resources in rural development, as well as in managing and conserving the resources to ensure long-term sustainability. This section focuses on how GIS and related technology may be used for inventorying the resource base, using the inventory to identify bio-physical constraints and opportunities for geographical targeting of research and development strategies, and for practical management and implementation of rural development projects.
2. GIS for addressing socio-economic & policy aspects of rural development: Efficient and sustainable use of the natural resource base hinges largely upon human factors, i.e. socio-economic circumstances and the institutional and policy environment. This section focuses on demonstrating how GIS tools are increasingly incorporated in socio-economic studies to provide an explicit geographical dimension where and when human behaviour is spatially influenced, with emphasis on rural development.
integrated approaches in rural development: There
is an increasing trend to adopt integrated approaches to rural development.
Planning, policy decisions, project implementation and management need to take
into account both biophysical conditions and socio-economic factors (horizontal
integration), as well as needs and issues at different scales from
field/farm/household to regional/community levels (vertical integration). This
section focuses on GIS as an enabling technology to foster integration in the
generation of knowledge bases and incorporation into planning and decision
support tools for rural development.
4. State-of-the-art tools and techniques: There are still many methodological challenges in developing GIS techniques to address the multitude of issues and problems in rural development. For example, technical solutions using GIS are needed for modelling spatio-temporal variability of environmental factors, to address up-scaling and downscaling issues, and for simulation of biophysical processes and human behaviour in space and time. Advances in information and communications technology are also opening up opportunities for making GIS accessible to the masses. This section focuses on demonstrating the utility of current as well as potential advances in GIS technology and techniques that can be gainfully used for rural development now and in the future.