SCGIS 2013 Scholarship Program


Here you will find information about our 2013 scholars. This group is selected by our chapters in 10 countries and regions around the world. We encourage all SCGIS members to find candidates doing work or needing help relevant to what you do, and to reach out and contact them, introduce yourself, see how you can help them. Those wishing to donate can do so at the official SCGIS site. Also check out the Scholar Map Gallery

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Mr Claudel Tshibangu Lukusa, Frankfurt Zoological Society, DR Congo
Msc Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costa, Carbon Cajari Project Brazil
Msc Lyn Ohala Santos Rodríguez, Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C., Mexico
Dr Marine Arakelyan, Yerevan State University, “Biodiva” NGO, Armenia
Ms Maria Eva Sison Budong, Philippine Assn for Intercultural Development
Ms Ela Šegina CIPRA Assn for Conservation of the Alps, Slovenia
Ms Herivololona Mbola Rakotondratsimba, Association VAHATRA, Madagascar
Ms Alexandra Loshkareva, Non-profit Partnership "Transparent World", Russia
Mr Javier Lenzi, Centro de Investigación y Conservación Marina - CICMAR, Uruguay
Dr Andres Rey, Conservación Patagónica, Argentina

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Mr Andre Luis Torres Baby, Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente – SEMA/MT , Brazil
Mr Alejandro Coca Castro, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
Ms Nadezhda Kecheva National Inst of Archaeology, Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Mr. Gaston Bhu Wung, WWF Cameroon
Ms Mariana Ríos Balletto, Vida Silvestre Uruguay
Mr Takoukam Kamla Aristide, Cameroon
Ms Bridget Chitalu, Scgis Zambia Chapter
Ms Mei Kobayashi, Waseda University, Japan
Ms Fahiema Daniels, South African National Biodiversity Institute
Mr Askarinta Adi, Conservation Community – WARSI Indonesia
Mr Zhiwen Zhu, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) China Program


name: Mr Claudel Tshibangu Lukusad
email: claudeltshibangu at
*-Your job title or role in the organization: Communications and GIS assistant
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URLs:,
*-Organization keywords: conservation, biodiversity, restoration, health, parks, sustainable development, wildlife, data source, biology,

OVERVIEW: Claudel’s home country of Democratic Republic of Congo is home to iconic wildlife such as zebras, elephants and gorillas. It is also the setting for intense violence and political instability. Despite this reality and despite the dangers, people such as Claudel have put conservation first – even ahead of their own lives. Claudel is using GIS to help rehabilitate struggling national parks that are home to some of the last zebra herds, the last elephants, and the last gorillas on the planet. He wants to help create a future for these parks by implementing proper management plans and providing local wildlife authority personnel with accurate data, maps and analysis. He is currently the only GIS analyst for the 10,000 square mile parks that are in dire need of updated management. Claudel began his career in international media organizations as a video journalist and translator, and worked on some prominent projects including the BBC’s Africa series and Human Rights Watch. Claudel sees the importance of outreach on a global scale, and the need to communicate to a broad audience the importance of conservation and how GIS plays a vital role in effective conservation worldwide. (Photo Above/Left, Claudel, standing, teaches GPS techniques to conservation workers)

Claudel's own words:: Please describe the work that your current organization does: Frankfurt Zoological Society is a German dbased conservation Organisation. The project is focused on the rehabilitation project of Upemba and Kundelungu National Parks, financed by the European Union. We are working to re-organize park management, the surveillance system and introduce new monitoring methods by using new technologies such as GIS and GPS tools. The GIS project is linked to the “General Management Plan” that will lay the ground-work of rehabilitation of the two Congolese national Parks, Upemba and Kundelungu that are situated in Katanga Province. This plan has eight management programs focused on the protection of the species and habitats in these areas. In order to know what to protect and where to focus support, the management plan should include accurate maps (not previously available) and a system of data collection and monitoring is being developed. The project has employed technical assistance in building GIS / Remote Sensing / GPS-based tools from Dr. Steve Schill, a senior scientist at The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Robert Ford, an expert with GIS research and field teaching experience. We bought and collected data from different sources (Google Earth, NASA, Tervuren Museum in Belgium, GPS-based data collection in the park) in order to create a first draft GIS database as well as critical documents that will help us to define the future of the parks and increase management capacity.

Please describe your personal role in the organization: My job is twofold – I am the Communications officer and I serve as GIS Analyst. Even though I have a background in journalism and communications, I have been learning GIS and now support all the GIS work in the organization within the region. I see GIS as a critical tool that will help us improve management capacity. Consequently I am seeking to further my education in GIS so that I can help train our other team members how to use this valuable tool. I am currently using GIS to create new baseline layers for our database such as shapefiles and KMZ/KML files in Google Earth. I’m also leading teams in the field to collect data using GPS and importing these files into our GIS database for the two Parks. I also create basic maps as needed for park management. I assist in the GPS training for the wildlife authority to support the new management plan that will lay the groundwork of rehabilitation of the two Parks - Upemba and Kundelungu in Katanga (DR Congo). I also review maps made by consultants and verify the proper use of local names. I manage the GIS database that we’ve created with the help from consultants for both parks. This will be my second year working to use GIS for conservation and I see great possibilities in using this technology to help rehabilitate the parks that are in great need of increased management – this is why I’m very keen to learn more from the SCGIS scholarship program – so I can give my best to use GIS for promoting conservation in my country.

Please describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I came to FZS from International media organisations where I worked with Insight News TV, and Von Planta Productions. Here I worked as a video journalist and fixer translator. I also helped organize the DRC part of Jonathan Dimbleby’ s BBC African series. In 2009 I filmed reports for Human Right Watch about sexual violence against women in Eastern Congo. I accompanied HRW executive director Ken Roth and Ida Sawyer to film the HRW press conference and got some footage of advocacy activities that were used for an outreach film on Congo. I’ve been involved in conservation and GIS since 2009, when I visited for the first time a National Park in Eastern Congo. I remember that I was invited by the organization I’m currently working for to Kahuzi Biega National during the attack of Laurent Nkunda (a rebel leader). The park was occupied by different rebel groups who where digging minerals such as gold and cassiterite. The head of the Park was concerned by this situation as these people were destroying the habitat for mountain Gorillas through their mining activities within protected areas. They asked the current FZS Africa Program Director Rob Muir - to get information using GPS from the FZS airplane. Since that time I have been looking for GIS/GPS training, but didn’t get a chance to learn more until last year when I joined FZS’s Upemba Project. (see poster below, click for full resolution version)


Please describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: The most challenging thing about conservation/GIS where I work is the lack of data and the versions of GIS software. It’s difficult to work with old versions especially when I get shape files made from the latest versions. I’m working in the most dangerous place where Congolese army is fighting regularly for years now against different rebel groups. This causes many problems for our project and for collecting data in the field. Recently, in a tragic event, local “Mai Mai” rebels murdered Mr Atamato Madrandele, Upemba Chief Warden on December 16 2012 on his way to the park. This danger means that access to different areas of the parks to confirm the images we see from Google Earth is difficult or impossible. There is a lack of technical knowledge and skills from park managers, which means that I have to accompany people on the field to make sure they collect the correct data. Overall, working in Congo is one of the most challenging places in the world to do conservation, but this also means that we really need training and new tools like remote sensing to help our work.

Please describe a 1-year plan for how you hope to apply the skills you will learn under the SCGIS scholarship, and what you expect to be able to achieve in your conservation GIS work over the next year. I’m planning to apply my skills to the project that will be done in Upemba Park to protect the last herds of zebras left in the country as well as try to protect and restore other species left in the Park. There is a survey that will happen next year in order to research and try to save the last elephants of Katanga, which are now living outside the Park and are very vulnerable to ivory poachers. They fled from fighting and now we hope they will come back to their original habitat. I will work closely with the Biologists and experts to make sure they have all the maps they need to make management decisions and determine the best habitat and corridor routes for these elephants. I plan to create a map of elephant sightings and other topics that are important for park managers. My new skills acquired through the scholarship program will help me to improve GIS database management and analysis that will contribute directly to the future success of the Park. After this year, I believe there will be a lot of opportunities for GIS and conservation in DRC, since the capacity is very low with the wildlife authority. They will require trained GIS experts to assist with management and monitoring in every park in DRC.



name: Msc Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costad

Email: janabpcosta at
title or role in the organization: Biologist – executive coordinator of environmental training. interest keywords (please see instructions): Amazon forest, conservation, traditional populations, communities, protected area, environmental education and renovates technology
Organization name: Carbon Cajari Project (Projeto Carbono Cajari)
Country: Brazil
Work phone with country and area code: 55 96 4009-9551
Work fax with country and area code: 55 96 3223-4527
Main email:
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): Amazon forest, conservation, traditional populations, Brazil nut extraction, protected area, Bertholletia excelsa and agro-extractive families, sequestration de carbon, REDD+.

Overview: Janaina lives in Amapá Brazil and learned about SCGIS from 2007 SCGIS Scholar Claudia Funi. She does community oriented GIS in a sustainable development project focused in brazil nut production in the Amazon forest.

Please describe the work that your current organization does: The Cajari Carbon Project focuses on carbon sequestration and avoided emissions by the conservation of forests and associated biodiversity to the Amazon biome, through the maintenance and expansion of natural populations of Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl., endangered species), environmental education and mainly investing Brazil  nut production chain in Brazil to strengthen the extraction. The project is developed in 14 communities where more than 1,400 people are directly involved with the project throughout its execution. This initiative provides a positive impact on long-term conservation of Brazil nut, combining sustainable development and the conservation of natural resources. The Project is sponsored by Petrobras, (a Brazilian government company), through Petrobras Environmental Program, and has as proponents the  ASTEX-CA, an Agroextractivists Workers Association from Cajari (Associação do Trabalhadores Agroextrativistas do Cajari), a nonprofit organization that works on the social organization and assists the Agroextractivists workers of the Alto Cajari region (local concentration of Brazil nut trees in RESEX-CA). The project execution is carried out by a hired executive team and institutional partners (Embrapa Amapá, IEF and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation – ICMBio, Intituto Chico Mendes da Biodiversidade) and non-government organizations, the CNS - National Council of Traditional Populations (Conselho nacional das populações tradicionais), Alto Cajari Women's Association (Associação de Mulheres do Alto Cajari - AMAC, Agroextractivists workers Cooperative  in Alto Cajari (COOPERALCA), Agroextractivists Family Schools of the Maraca and the Carvao regions- EFAEX-MA and EFAC, Escolas família agroextrativistas do Maracá e do Carvão). The Cajari Carbon Project actions are divided into five streams: 1) Mapping approximately 330 “castanhais” (over 3,000 ha) for quantification of production and potential emissions avoided. In each area of ​​them, Brazil nut trees are all geo-referenced and a lot of data is collected, 2) Carbon sequestration by expanding the population of Brazil nut trees in SC fallows, this stream refers to the scientific research, such as the Monitoring Social Dynamics , where all the houses in the community were visited, geo-referenced and a diagnostic form was applied as to the environmental data collection activities within the chestnut fields and SC fallows floristic inventory, analyze soil, natural regeneration, Brazil nut production, disperser activities: agouti), but mainly the management of saplings Brazil nut trees in the SC fallows, 3) Improvement in the infrastructure and processes for production Brazil nut collecting, storing, processing and transportation through deployment of new technologies (eg: Brazil nut solar dryer), construction of 65 storage “paióis”(sheds) and seven community kitchens, renovation of facilities and purchase of vehicles; 4) Environmental, productive and managerial training, several workshops on environmental education in all communities are held, as well as technical and administrative training for specific audiences within the RESEX-CA, and 5) support for project administration, management and cooperative associations and deployment of communication infrastructure and dissemination for adoption of sustainable practices, communication is a major focus for the dissemination of the knowledge produced.
Thus, this project on socioeconomic development with strong environmental focus is for the economic stimulus to family agroextractivist, through investments along the supply chain, recognizing that the traditional population had an important historical role for the rainforest conservation and its biodiversity. Many areas of the Amazon rainforest, considered as untouched forests in the popular imagination, are cultural forests arising from the interaction between indigenous and traditional populations. Strengthening Brazil nut extraction activity and its ability to generate income is essential for the expansion of sustainable practices, the maintenance of extraction activity and thus  theforest conservation, consequently. This arrangement is possible through the integration between technical knowledge and traditional knowledge through the application of participatory methodologies and innovation technologies with renewable use. d

* ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION-: Please describe your personal role in the organization:
I am a member of the executive coordination of the project, responsible for environmental training. This includes all environmental education, which acts transversally in all project activities. But it also involves the research and application of new technologies, led by Embrapa. My work goes from planning to execution and publication (popular or scientific). I participated in 2010, in the basic research that supported the development of this project and acted directly on the project since the beginning of its implementation in July 2011 up to the present.
Specifically, I am responsible for the information gather provided by the different groups in the project execution and the making of quarterly reports for monitoring and evaluation for the sponsor. I also work with the coordination of communication for dissemination of information either through the project´s radio program or in publications addressed to the extractivists, scientific community and environmental managers.
Finally, I coordinate and execute the actions of environmental education and training in 14 communities, which so far have had about 1500 participants in approximately 30 events. These activities had a greater amount of people than the all audience goal expected, therefore the approach taken on sequestration, greenhouse gases, conserving natural resources, environmental services, etc. Because our trainings have always been related to the Brazil nut value chain, with a lot of synergy in the exchange of knowledge between the community and the technical teams. The agroextractivists began to understand how the mapping of their “Castanhais” can be a tool to help them achieve certification socio-participative to their community and add value to the Brazil nut, through the conservation of standing forests.

*-HISTORY: Please describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS:
I graduated in Biology in 2005 and finished my Masters in Plant Biology in 2007. Since then I have taken part in some research projects related to conservation, at the Plant Ecology research group at the Federal University of Pernambuco, such as “Rarity, conservation and sustainable landscapes networks of forest northeastern Atlantic”, “Models of Forestry for Atlantic forest at the Pernambuco Endemism Center”, among others. I worked on a center of endemism northeastern Atlantic forest (biodiversity hotspot), which currently has only 2% of the original scattered in a mosaic of small forest fragments. So, I have worked with natural regeneration and forest fragmentation. In this project, the GIS was used by the research group, for construction management plans and reforestation, as a basis for scientific research. For example, although the images spotted fragments reasonable forest cover, such diversity has declined considerably by the absence of dispersal animals, locally extinct. Through the GIS it was possible to calculate the percentage of edge forest fragments and evaluate its effects on forest biota.
Then I had a scholarship for three years, conducting research in Central Amazonia, at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP), the National Institute for Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia - INPA), worked again with forest fragmentation effects on populations of trees in the region. I also participated in several projects, such as “Studies for the conservation and use of forest resources: reproductive phenology, morphology, germination” and “Conservation in situ and ex situ tree species in Central Amazonia”. Then I started to conduct surveys in Amapá (Eastern Amazonia), through a scholarship from Embrapa, working primarily in research and interface design community through “Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products in Amazonia - Kamukaia II Project” (which was the basis for the Cajari Carbon Project) and “Ecology and forest management for multiple use of the várzeas floodplains forest of the Amazon estuary – FLORESTAM, project in which I have participate as a volunteer up to the present.
The Florestam project works closely with the Amazon River border dwellers, generating information that will guide the management to ensure the sustainable development of these communities as to conserve and provide economic return, based on timber and non-timber products. In the previously mentioned project, GIS is very important for forest management, as it is used to determine the geographic distribution of the most economically important species. We also use GIS to enable a low-impact forestry based management plans required by government agencies, directing all the planning and execution of research with greater effectiveness.
 In my professional career in the Amazon, the importance and necessity to use GIS-oriented practices and conservation studies has become increasingly evident. The ability to generate new information broadens our knowledge for scientific and management purposes and public policies. It has become an indispensable tool for the benefit of traditional communities, collaborating for the best use of local resources in communities in the Amazon and the world. d

*-UNIQUE: Please describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation / GIS work that you do:
The Alto Cajari region in RESEX-CA, has the exuberance of the Amazon region, with a particular mixture of Savannas and Forest. But working at RESEX-CA, besides being a challenge, due to difficulties of access and lack of financial resources, is above all a great learning experience. Local people provide for the family by collecting Brazil nut, at the same time they have historically conserved these forests. The agroextrativists abandon the SC fallows areas destined to be for agriculture to become “castanhais” in the future, when they see a large number of seedlings and saplings  Brazil nut trees in the area. Thus, these communities have an important role in the regeneration of Brazil nut tree, carbon sequestration and avoided emissions besides all the environmental services provided. However, they have poor living conditions, access to the “castanhais” is very difficult, through roads and vicinal roads of land, many of them handmade by the community and they need to walk miles, often having to carry a lot of weight on their backs. There is no electricity, piped water, cell phone signal, nor internet access. Improving the living conditions of these people, boosting the regional economy is one of the objectives of the Cajari Carbon Project. In this context, the use of GIS will provide a considerable rise on the national scene, the immensity of multidisciplinary information generated by this project. However, much of this information can simply be underutilized due to lack of skilled people to manage them, as in many parts of the Amazon, qualified professionals in geotechnology are rare. Moreover, there’s lack basic research for the region, for example, there’s no cartographic basis the state of Amapá, information is scarce and when available is not easy to find. All this makes it difficult to work with GIS, but with all our efforts, we believe that this unique project will become a model to be followed both nationally and internationally.
It is reflected in various aspects of society, it may be structured with agents that act (1) the governmental level (IEF - Forest Institute of Amapá), working directly in the construction of public policies, (2) the generation of science and technology (Embrapa and associated universities); management in the area of ​​federal protection (ICMBio - Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity), the preservation of culture and community organization (ASTEX, AMAC, CNS and COOPERALCA); and training young professionals RESEX-CA that will continue the actions developed (our Fellows). With synergy, this is a pioneering project in the eastern Amazon in quantifying the potential of fixed carbon in these forests, harboring new possibilities for adding value to this important non-timber product, Brazil nuts. Being so, the use of GIS tools to reduce the costs of collecting, by optimizing the planning of trails and vicinl roads to production flow within the forest, as well as to define the location of the processing structures such as “paióis”(temporary Brazil nut storage place), dryers and kitchens due to the productive capacity of regions and settings, a technological innovation is essential to strengthen the Brazil nut value chain. This activity was not previously set in the original project, but training and empowering someone of the project team to achieve the goals, will be crucial. More specifically the proposed work for me is to integrate, through GIS, all the information generated by the project and make up a way to identify priority sites for the construction of 65 “paióis” for the families. Although there are about 330 families, there isn´t sufficient resources to benefit all of them, it is necessary to rank those who need it most, using the collected and geo-referenced data (“castanhal” area, distance from the community, managed SC fallows area, socioeconomic data, etc.). The goal is to subsidize a fair and coherent distribution for the community, benefiting the families that are currently most in need of support. I am particularly determined to contribute to this direct benefit to those families that both motivate and teach us. And I am sure that the acquisition of knowledge and technology obtained with the SCGIS scholarship will greatly contribute to this purpose.



name: Ms Lyn Ohala Santos Rodríguezd
title or role in the organization: Marine Conservation and Climate Change Program, Subdirector.
email address: lsantos at
interest keywords: coral reefs, climate change, sustainable tourism, ecotourism, REDD+, mangroves, fisheries, conservation, sustainable development, certification, Corporate Social Responsibility
Organization name: Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C.
Organization full street address (in your local format): Calle Fuego No. 2, Manzana 10, Supermanzana 4, Cancún, Quintana Roo, México. CP. 77500
Organization full mailing address, if different:
Country: México
Work phone with country and area code: +52 (998) 8922958
Work fax with country and area code:
Main email:
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords: Conservation, environment, biodiversity, caves karst, climate change, sustainable tourism, coast conservation, hydrology, mangroves, sustainable development, sustainable construction, coral reefs, wetlands, community involvement, local culture preservation, fisheries, economic development, local communities, Territory Ecological Ordenance, ecotourism, Sian Ka’an, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula

describe the work that your current organization does: Amigos de Sian Ka´an is a non-profit organization that was founded in June of 1986 with the primary purpose of promoting, leading and supporting actions to preserve the natural and cultural resources of Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve and the surround areas, by working with local communities and the government. Now, Amigos de Sian Ka’an has extended its work to all the Quintana Roo Estate and has become the leading conservation organization in the area.

Current Mission Conserve biodiversity, promote the socioeconomic development of communities, and influence the _G5W5614environmental culture and policies, based on science.


AcknowledgmentsHELI ZONDA

Treasures that we are conserving:

     Ongoing projects

describe your personal role in the organization: I work at Amigos de Sian Ka’an since the beginning of 2012. I am the dleader of the Marine Conservation and Climate Change Program at Amigos de Sian Ka’an. My responsibilities include coordinating specific projects related with marine resources and coastal management, and projects with a climate change focus. My Program has three main divisions: Research, Management and Monitoring.

The active projects I am currently executing during 2013 are:

We also have some projects that haven’t been authorized yet and some others we are working on to apply for funding. Additionally, I collaborate with different Programs at Amigos de Sian Ka’an, like the Freshwater conservation Program, the Ecotourism Program and the Special Projects Program.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: My history working on GIS is brief; I used to make maps of the main areas of a hotel destination to monitor the extension of mangrove that had to be protected during the construction process. I used visible and infrared aerial pictures to digitalize the polygons in order to verify the health and extension of the ecosystem. I also made maps to establish monitoring zones on Coral Reefs.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do:
In Quintana Roo we have so much natural resources, it has white-sand-turquoise-sea beaches, tropical jungle, mangroves, the Mayan culture and so many wonders, that’s why this area has become the one with higher population growth rate in all the country. The population only in Cancun (north area of the Estate) has passed from 4000 to 850,000 on 40 years. Right now it’s the most important tourist destination with a contribution of 80% of the Estate‘s economy. This has added important and significant pressure to the coastal ecosystems. A study that Amigos de Sian Ka’an performed in alliance with local partners showed that 50% of the original mangrove surface has been lost and the 50% that remains is highly fragmented and isolated. Also, only about 30% of the sewage on the Estate is treated and the rest goes to the underground system.
The Yucatan Peninsula is a karstic platform with no superficial watersheds. The highly porous rock allows filtration and thus, pollution of the underground freshwater that is actually, the only source of drinking water in the area. After the Amazon jungle, Quintana Roo has the largest best preserved tropical jungle and unfortunately, more jungle areas are being deforested, fragmented and changed so proper territory ecological ordenance programs are imperative.
Quintana Roo shore is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest coral reef after the Great Barrier at Australia. Corals in the area had been impacted by pollution, exploitation, overfishing, mangrove deforestation and non-responsible tourism. The ecological condition of reef, according to the 2012 Report published by Healthy Reef for Healthy People (with some data produced by Amigos de Sian Ka’an), shows that none of the coral reef in Mexico is in a good ecological condition, all of them have some level of impact and more of 50% of them severely damaged.

Describe a 1-year plan for how you hope to apply the skills you will learn under the SCGIS scholarship, and what you expect to be able to achieve in your conservation GIS work over the next year: I currently have two active projects that involve the creation of a GIS. The first one will put together all the information available on marine ecosystems on a GIS, so we can identify the best areas (based on ecological, biological and socioeconomic data) to be established as a No Fishing area. This step will involve all the stakeholders involved on fishing activity, especially fishermen groups. Once finished, the next step is to develop a Management Plan for each one of them and present them to the Natural Protected Areas Commission so they can legally declare them protected areas. In case I am accepted to be part of this training, I plan to take all available information regarding this project, so the experts of SCGIS can verify my GIS and help me analyze the data.
The second projects plans to do the same exercise described before but regarding freshwater karstic systems. Our objective is to develop a conceptual model of the water flow so a group of experts will identify the best recharge areas to be protected.
Furthermore, I will work closely with the rest of the team to evaluate the information that is took into consideration by the government to develop the Territory Ecological Ordenance Programs, so we can influence them in order to protect ecosystems.
The north of the State has a massive tourism vocation, but central area of the Estate has Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Natural Protected Area, where Amigos de Sian Ka’an is developing a huge project funded by World Bank, in order to develop a tourism brand focused ONLY on ecotourism and responsible tourism, so we can reduce pressure on the area and involve local communities to offer sustainable tourism alternatives. GIS will be really useful to establish influence zones for tourism circuits and to determine full protection areas based on the conservation status of the ecosystems located there.


name: Dr Marine Arakelyand

-Your direct email address(es): arakelyanmarine at
title or role in the organization: Researcher, Lecturer
interest keywords (please see instructions): biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, reptiles, critical sites, conservation area, database design, landscape analysis, monitoring, populations, environmental education.

Organization name: Yerevan State University, “Biodiva” NGO
Organization full street address (in your local format): 1 Alek Manoogian str, Yerevan
Organization full mailing address, if different: 1 Alek Manoogian str, Yerevan 0025, Armenia
Country: Armenia
Work phone with country and area code: +37410 556568
Work fax with country and area code:
Main email:,
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): Faculty of biology, zoology, botany, biodiversity, students, education and researches.

escribe the work that your current organization does: I am employee as researcher and lecturer at Chair of Zoology, Faculty Biology, Yerevan State University. It is the biggest and main education center in Armenia and it is only one where teach zoology and botany
The department of zoology prepares experts, which complete the ranks of zoologists in Armenia and out of its borders. Armenia is an internationally recognized area of endemism and a biodiversity hotspot of global importance with high concentration of endemic, rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi. Currently our research centre attempt to build a strategy for preservation of Armenian biodiversity utilizing modern conservation biology techniques. To ensure the success of future conservation efforts, Armenian biodiversity should be inventoried, monitored, and managed using modern techniques and methodologies employing conservation genetics and geographic information systems (GIS). However there are no special courses on GIS in a curriculum of our Faculty. Thus we need in training in both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in data collection, database management and computer mapping in order to work independently with ArcGIS software, GIS project design and management which will get acquainted with application of GIS in field of biodiversity study and its conservation. I am a vice-president of “Biodiva” NGO too. Our organization has developed projects deal with conservation of Armenian biodiversity. The main idea of our organization is creating linkage among different specialists in area of biodiversity and makes multidisciplinary researches and conservation measures. Of course, the knowledge of GIS is became a cornerstone for our projects and its implementation.d

describe your personal role in the organization: In chair of Zoology of Faculty of Biology, of Yerevan State University I responsible for educating of first and second year of Bachelor students (Comparative anatomy of vertebrates) and Master students (methods of field study, systematics of vertebrates etc). I am supervisor for some bachelor and master theses on different topics in field of herpetology. I am an employee as senior research fellow and are spending a substantial time doing researches, writing articles, manuscript, textbooks, projects and reports as well as teaching the students interested in herpetology, biodiversity and conservation problems. My research may seem multiple to many, but it involves understanding evolutionary biology, speciation by hybridization among reptiles, study biodiversity and its conservation. I also have been working on the survey and study unique and rich biological diversity of reptiles of Armenia.
As vice-president of “Biodiva” NGO I am writing, submitting and carry out the field and laboratory works in the projects on topic of conservation of biodiversity and trying to organize a group of specialists which will be able to assess current status of rare and endemic animals, plants and fungi, finding key features of their habitat, developing their protection and implementation. My main aims are continue conservation oriented projects and involve in them as much students as possible.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS:  I graduated Yerevan State University in 1996, earned the PhD in Biology in 2001 in Institute of Zoology of Russian Academy of Science in 2001 and DSc in Institute of Zoology of Armenian Academy of Science in 2012. As team leader I successfully conducted following conservation projects:

2003-2004 Chelonian Research Foundation Linnaeus Fund Turtle Research Award “The distribution of turtles in Armenia”




Endangered steppe-runner lizard, Eremias arguta transcaucasica

2008-2009 Armenian National Science & Education Fund (ANSEF): “Survey on the distribution, systematics, and conservation status of terrestrial tortoises (Testudo “graeca”) in the Arax River Valley”. d

2008-2009 Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation (RSG). “Conservation of the last surviving lizard population in the Caucasus – the racerunner Eremias arguta transcaucasica in Armenia”.

2009-2010. Armenian National Science & Education Fund (ANSEF): “Conservation of critically endangered populations of tortoise (Testudo graeca armeniaca) in Ararat Valley”.

2011-2012. Second Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation (RSG): “Development and implementation of conservation measures for an unique lizard population: the racerunner Eremias arguta transcaucasica in Armenia”

2011-2012. The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund – “Conservation of Critical Endangered Species of Reptiles”.

I was a leader of Armenian team in

2009-2011. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Portugal): “Preserving Armenian biodiversity” Principal Investigators - Nuno Ferrand, Miguel A. Carretero, Marine Arakelyan, Sergei Drovetski, Felix Danielyan.

I was leader of zoological team in

2010-2012. State Committee of Science Fund: “Survey and conservation of animals, plants and fungi in athropogenic disturbed semi-desert ecosystems of Armenia”. Armenian Science Fund. d

      Now I am implementing the project funded by Armenian National Science & Education Fund (ANSEF) “Development of conservation strategies for the critically endangered species of reptiles of Armenia” The above mentioned projects have included GIS mapping and the GIS database which provide the cornerstone for assessing at risk populations for future monitoring and management, outlining exact locations of critical biodiversity sites and selection of territories recommended for stricter protection. (Photo Right, distribution of calendars and handbooks to local schools about the value and protection of endangered lizards)

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: GIS first of all is very important tool for future development of management and study of the biological resources of the Armenia.  GIS allows for storage, query and updating of spatial datasets. Databases based upon the layering of different types of information (genetic, demographic, geographic, and ecologic) will provide a tool for making science-based decisions for conservation and management.  Moreover the deep knowledge of GIS modeling increases the range of scientific researches on topic of evolution of reptiles. Thus estimate suitable habitats for different species of rock lizard (parthenogenetic and biparental species), through the analysis of the relationship among the environmental variables (that are expected to affect the species’ physiology and probability of persistence) and known species’ occurrence records. Therefore, it will be the a model of the realized niche for rock lizards species and then project their distribution to the past and to future scenarios. The Armenian students I will train will graduate with a greater understanding of modern conservation biology and biodiversity management and form the next generation of wildlife managers.


name: Ms Maria Eva Sison Budongd
Your direct email address(es): evadoyak at
title or role in the organization: Cartographer
Organization name: Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc. (PAFID)
Organization full street address (in your local format): #16 Don Domingo Maddela, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Organization full mailing address, if different:
Country: Philippines
Work phone with country and area code:
Work fax with country and area code:
Main email:
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): advocacy, agriculture, air quality, analysis, biodiversity, climate, climate change, conservation, critical sites, database design, data integration, data source, ecology, education, envir education, envir justice, envir law, forest, geology, greenways, history, hydrology, inventory, landscape analysis, mediation, mitigation, modeling, monitoring, parks, planning policy, pollution, populations, protected areas, open space, restoration, river, soil, species, sustainable development, trails, tribal, vegetation, water, water quality, watersheds, wildlife, sacred places, landslide, hazard, carbon, 3-dimensional modeling, traditional governance, indigenous peoples, traditional practices, timber stand improvement, culture, carbon sequestration, security of tenure, land tenure, autonomy, self-determination, mining.

describe the work that your current organization does: PAFID is a social development organization that works closely with indigenous communities secure their lands and waters and obtain access and control in the management of their resources. PAFID has been advocating sustainable management and has been instrumental in securing titles of many ancestral domains by providing technical support in boundary delineation and mapping.

Vision: PAFID is a social development organization which has been assisting Philippine indigenous communities secure or recover traditional lands and waters since 1967. It forms institutional partnerships with indigenous communities to secure legal ownership over ancestral domains and to shape Government policy over indigenous peoples’ issues. PAFID works exclusively with the indigenous peoples’ sector, specifically upon written or signed requests for assistance from indigenous communities or their representatives. PAFID envisions Indigenous Communities as responsible stewards of their resources. As communities and individuals they posses rights and responsibilities over the natural environment, cultural integrity, educational and health systems that embody their indigenous knowledge and mores, employ socially and ecologically sound methods of managing and utilizing their natural resources for their own and national benefit for both present and future generations.

Mission: To work with Indigenous Communities in obtaining access to and control of their natural environment and in sustainably protecting, managing, utilizing and developing these as a means towards self-respect, self-sufficiency and a stable natural environment.

The global challenge on climate change has brought PAFID to international platform. PAFID, thru its Executive Director, has been consistently sitting down with Conference of Parties (COP) gatherings of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – an internationally binding treaty with the main goals of conservation, sustainable use and fair and equitable sharing of benefits of biological diversity. This body recognizes the undisputable efforts of the poor nations of the world in the protection and sustainable management of the forest resources and more specifically in the Philippines, the indispensable role of the Indigenous Peoples through the use of traditional governance in managing forests. International institutions like the World Bank, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Global Biodiversity Outlook (2010) has released statements, a product of their many years of studies, recognizing the reality that the remaining high biodiversity forests are mostly found in indigenous peoples’ territories.

PAFID has been in the forefront in initiating a National Pilot Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – government agency responsible for governing and supervising the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the Philippines's natural resources – on biodiversity conservation documentation, promotion and registration to international bodies to ensure its protection. PAFID has so far helped registered two indigenous community conserved areas (ICCA) in international ICCA registry. In all the above mentioned undertakings GIS is indispensable! Without GIS there is no other better way these communities can show to the whole world they are very instrumental in making the world still going round.

describe your personal role in the organization: I serve as a mapping technician in my organization. I join actual tree inventories, actual ICCA delineation and actual 3-dimentional map construction and landcover coding. I’ve been in PAFID since 2007 but I initially served as documentor. I have been involved in projects like producing landuse maps, landcover maps, mining overlays versus ancestral territories and national parks, watershed maps, simple analysis maps derived from DEM like elevation, slope, and contour maps. I also spend most of my times digitizing topographic maps since it is one of our most usable of officially recognized map in my country. Working with maps especially involving warring indigenous communities is sometimes dangerous though. Tribal wars are still practiced especially in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines. I have been involved in a boundary dispute dialogue using 3-dimentional model as tool. Evidences like Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by both communities long time ago without the benefit of mapping tech came alive with the use of 3-d model. I later converted the whole thing into a vector file usable in their succeeding dialogues.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: Prior to PAFID, I have been working with a church-based organization that also works with indigenous peoples in the Northern Philippines. I handled sustainable agriculture program and we specialized in collecting, preserving, reproducing and conserving Philippine indigenous rice varieties. We advocated against the use of chemicals in agriculture and the then controversial Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMO) specifically the distribution of Bt-corn variety. We rallied, in alliance with PAFID, against large scale mining operations and big dam constructions. That’s where I met PAFID.

I came from a town called Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya in the Northern Philippines. Kasibu’s Eastern side is presently being mined (Gold and Copper) via Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA #1) concluded between Philippine government and Western Mining Corporation (Canadian Mining Company); In the southern part of my town has an approved exploration permit for mining. In the north is an on-going open pit large scale mining operation for Gold and Molybdenum. I have been, in one way or another, part of the campaign against the destruction of our agricultural lands. Kasibu is the citrus bowl of the Philippines and a rice and vegetable rich town as well. The most gratifying moment in my mapping history work was when I was able to print a map used in the actual dialogue and advocacy in my own home town.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: Presently we are trying to show through GIS the level of forest biodiversity of a certain indigenous community. The challenge that faces us is how to show the data on flora diversity in maps. We are only able to show so far the transect lines and blocks and plots we created by showing the “biodiversity” aspect is still not discovered.



Ms Ela Seginasd
email address(es): slovenija at, ela.segina at
title or role in the organization: volunteer, working on environmental projects
Organization name: CIPRA Slovenia, association for conservation of the Alps
Organization full street address (in your local format): Trubarjeva 50, 1000 Ljubljana
Organization full mailing address, if different:
Country: Slovenia
Work phone with country and area code: 00 386 05 90 71 322
Work fax with country and area code:  00 386 05 90 71 321
Main email:
Organization Web site URL if any:
Organization subject keywords (please see instructions): air quality, alternate energy, analysis, biodiversity, cave karst, conservation, data integration, ecology, environmental education, forest, hydrology, landscape analysis, mediation, parks, pollution, populations, protected areas, recreation, recycling, sustainable development, vegetation, water, water quality, limnology..

describe the work that your current organization does: CIPRA Slovenia is one of 7 non-profit NGO CIPRA entities (other being located in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Austria). We are connected in international network CIPRA International with organizational centre in Switzerland. General aim of CIPRA is well explained with its mission statement: Living in Alps. Its aim is therefore not just conservation of natural environment, but also sustainable development of alpine region. How to protect the nature without preventing development of the region? And at the same time - how to develop the region without threaten the natural environment? CIPRA Slovenia was established in 50’, when cooperation with other alpine countries has begun. In that time, it was an association of individuals, intervening at bigger economic or industrial plans in order to preserve natural environment in sustainable way. In 2000, CIPRA Slovenia (as all other 6 CIPRAs) became NGO. Our focus is on one hand on protection of natural resources as water, soil and dforest, and on the other on sustainable development of the region in order to rise the quality of life in this specific mountainous area. In the past CIPRA Slovenia was working with protected areas: we were participating at preparation of draft law for Triglavski narodni park, the only national park in Slovenia and we were cooperating with local protected areas (for example regional park of Logarska dolina, Slovenia). CIPRA Slovenia has long tradition in supporting sustainable transport in the region (projects on public transport and reducing traffic). We were transferring good practice of sustainable development from Slovenia abroad  (Montenegro). CIPRA Slovenia was also working on promotion of use of the wood for home construction – we organized several visits of low-energy houses in other Alpine countries. Besides, we made an overview of climate protection in the Alps.
Currently we are organizing workshops on sustainable mobility (Grundtvig programe), working on identification of state public transport (project IJPP) and supporting cycling in the capital of the country (project Do the right mix). We are working on conservation of cultural landscape in the Alps with yearly “cleaning of overgrowing” events (project Fire in the Alps). With yearly events, CIPRA is also promoting Alpine convention, the most important international territorial treaty for the sustainable ddevelopment of the Alps (organizing the Day of Alpine Convention). Besides we are working on policies – we are participating in preparation of Slovenia’s Development Strategy. One of our next projects is organizing of mountain-lakes cleaning with accompanying study of water flow cycle in mountainous karst region (Dvojno jezero/Double lake in Julian Alps, Slovenia).
One of our tasks is response to the current issues in the field of environment. We are working on policies (feedback, suggestions) and also in the local area with specific projects mentioned above. Our approach is reaching all levels and acting as a conductor between policy makers and the local population. We also work with the media and on cross-border projects (for example current Grundtvig program is in cooperation with partners from Croatia, UK, Rumania, Italy and Bulgaria). After all, we are a part of international organization CIPRA International, so we are a priori cooperating internationally with other entities of CIPRA. Regarding local cooperation I can mention that we are taking part of an association Environmental Center, which is connecting five NGOs (these NGOs are Focus, Umanotera, Slovenski e-forum, Institute for Sustainable Development and CIPRA). We are working in partnership with above listed NVOs through various projects. Besides, we collaborate with municipalities and local communities, we have contacts in Alpine municipalities and local travel agencies, with which we often associate.

describe your personal role in the organization: I am working as a volunteer at CIPRA for 6 months. My task is working on different environmental projects explained in the previous section. I work on conceptual design of projects and help at their realization, but I also give technical support. CIPRA Slovenia is small environmental organization so we cooperate at all stages.    

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: My history of work with GIS as conservation tool is quite short while I am pretty new at the organization, but my previous work with GIS was always connected with environmental issues. I was working on change of land use in coastal Slovenian region (Koper, Slovenia), on producing map of coastal hazard susceptibility on Slovenian cliffy coast and on conservation of seagrass Posidonia Oceanica in the Bay of Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. 

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: The most unique in our conservation work is the fact that our NGO is working with alpine region as a whole, without taking into account political borders. Right now, the most challenging for me is to incorporate GIS in our work in order to make it more effective, detailed and professional.



Ms Herivololona Mbola Rakotondratsimba, Association VAHATRA, Madagascar mbola
*-Organization full street address: B.P. 3972, Ambohidempona, Tsiadana Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Country: Madagascar
*-Work phone with country and area code: 261 20 22 277 55
*-Main email:
*-Organization Web site URL if any:

The Association Vahatra was created in 2005. The word “Vahatra” means “grass-roots” in Malagasy, the national language of the island. The activities of Association Vahatra cover two main areas “research and conservation” largely on the island’s terrestrial fauna and “strengthening graduate student education” particularly in ecology and conservation biology. Moreover, the scientists involved in Association Vahatra conduct research projects related to the behavior, ecology, distribution and habitat of terrestrial fauna, to advance different questions in the evolution of these organisms and to promote their conservation. In order to share these research findings, Association Vahatra launched a guide series on the biological diversity of Madagascar, and a scientific Journal "Malagasy Nature" dedicated to the natural history of the island. Beyond these programs, several others are associated with the impact climate change on vertebrate distribution, environmental education, and an atlas project to the land vertebrates of Madagascar.

As a GIS spatial analyst, my main responsibility is to work directly with researchers within Association Vahatra. The current large-scale project is the production of an atlas to Malagasymaps land vertebrates.  In order to reach this goal:
I update the existing database, currently approaching 60,000 records. Further, I assure the integration of data from recent fieldwork and the verification of spatial georeferenced points or localities,
I produce different types of maps (combinations of different parameters of vegetation and altitude) as base maps for overlaying vertebrate species distribution for the atlas, Associated with each species, I conduct modeling analysis with MaxEnt software, to understand different aspects of their distribution. The greatest challenge with the atlas project is that it is interdisciplinary (concerning four classes of vertebrates: amphibian, reptiles, birds and mammals) and the associated massive dataset. It will be a hitherto unrivaled synthesis of research conducted concerning Madagascar vertebrates, many of the species of considerable conservation concern. With regards of these aspects, the atlas is a good example of research valorization for biodiversity conservation.   As a side note, at the start of the atlas project, we planned to include species distribution mapping, accompanied with habitat suitability and climate change forecasting for each species. Unfortunately, due to problems with the lack of species biotic interactions variables and the spatial scales constraint, we are unable to ensure the accuracy of the climate change forecasting. In fact, we decide to exclude this section from the atlas and reserve it as a future project. Through the proposed SCGIS training program, I want to deepen my capacity to resolve this problem and I want to benefit from the expert assistance during the two GIS conferences

Biologist by training, I was a graduate of the University of Antananarivo, Madagascar, with an MSc in Plant Biology and Ecology. In 2008, I obtained training by REBIOMA Project WCS Madagascar, about the use of DIVA GIS and MAXENT programs as tools for suitable habitat modeling for different species. This training was helpful for me to finalize my master thesis (focused on the “Biology and ecogeographic studies of the wilds yams”). (focused on the “Biology and ecogeographic studies of the wilds yams”). This training can be seen as a starting point of my interest in GIS applications. From 2008 to 2010, after my master thesis, I held a position as a junior researcher at the Crops Wilds Relatives - CWR Project based in Madagascar. My role was to conduct fieldwork with a team for data collection, and then assist researchers in their modeling analysis work. For georeferencing information, we used ArcGIS desktop 9.2 version, DivaGiS and Maxent program to produce distribution map and habitat suitability modeling. In 2010, I received a six-month scholarship funded by Food Security Center Program at the University of Hohenheim, Germany, which allowed me to deepen my knowledge about the use of spatial analysis and modeling. From 2011 until today, I am working as a GIS spatial analyst consultant at the Association Vahatra, Antananarivo. Currently, my task is concentrating on the realization of the atlas project, mentioned above, and focused mainly on the use of spatial analysis and habitat modeling of terrestrial fauna.



name: Alexandra Loshkareva reindeer
.email address: aloshkareva at transparentworld dot ru
title or role in the organization: Deputy Head of the department “Cartography and GIS
*-Organization name: Non-profit Partnership "Transparent World"
*-Organization full street address (in your local format): 5/22 Ulitsa Rossolimo, Building 1, Moscow, Russia 119021
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Country: Russia
*-Work phone with country and area code: +007 (495) 739-73-85 ext. 140
*-Work fax with country and area code: +007 (495) 739-73-85 ext. 140
*-Main email: picea2k at
*-Organization Web site URL if any:

(right: Alexandra studying reindeer in the Kola Penninsula)

I have a master degree in cartography and geoinformatics. My master’s degree work was has been devoted to interpretation of vegetation cover by satellite images, and making vegetation map on the basis of this investigation. Also during study I took part in a huge amount of field work expeditions (Kronotskij national Reserve (Kamchatka peninsula), Lazovskiy national Reserve (Primorskiy kraj), Kavkazskij national Reserve (Krasnodarskij kraj, Caucasus mount.), Denezhkin kamen’ (Sverdlovskaja obl., Ural mountains), National park Russkij Sever (Vologodskaja obl.), Archangelskaja obl. (expedition in honor of the M.V.Lomonosov  300th anniversary) and a lot of time in Khibiny and Lovozery mount., and in the north part of the Kola peninsula. As a result of these expeditions, I made different maps of these regions (thematic maps with different approaches, which are depend on the interesting of the specialists in that place). When I was a 2nd year student I made my projects in graphical programs – Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw, also used Adobe Photoshop. Then, I made all my maps in ArcGIS (9.1-10.0). Some examples of my expedition maps are in attaches. These maps are rather simple to do in technical way, but they are not so easy by there content.
In my master degree work I investigated methodology of interpretation Landsat images on the basis of using height-resolution images (Quick Bird). I used ERDAS Imagine program and a little bit ENVI. During my work in “Transparent world” I did a lot of different things, with using GIS alexandratechnologies. I made web-services with different environmental information (,, and others), Also, I took part in the producing maps in the Atlas in the book “GAP-Analysis in the northern-western part of European Russia (based on Landsat imagery)” and map “Federal protected areas in Russia”, which was produced in 3 different scales (they are big, wall maps). More over I’m taking part in the project BPAN (Barents protected areas network) and make some geospatial analysis with environmental GIS-data.

Now, I’m head of the department “Information center”, and I’m using GIS and remote sensing technologies to operational solutions for incoming requests from non-governmental organizations (for example: logging in the national reserves, illegal building of a roads, pipelines, fires, flooding and so on).

(above/right: Alexandra at Kirovsk in Murmansk region of Russia)

So, I know a lot about GIS and have many necessary skills in using it. I hope, that I really advanced user in GIS. But of course, I need to know much more to make my work products brilliant and to afford to make maps faster. So, I need to know more about representation module, and mostly about different spatial analysis tools, because I don’t use all of them now, and some of them can be very be useful for me. And I’ve never create any modules by myself, but it will be also interesting for me to do.

Cultural Heritage Map of the Kurostrovskij area (click for Full Resolution)


*-How are you currently learning GIS? While my studying in University most important people for me in context of geoinformatics studying were: I.Lourie - Head of Cartography and Geoinformatic Department (specialist in the Geoinformatic), O.Tutubalina – my co-scientific adviser (specialist in the remote sensing), N.Alexeenko (specialist in cartography), H.Tommervik (specialist in the remote sensing from Norway) and many others. So, I hope, that my knowing of GIS is not only practical, but fundamental.
Also, during my study I worked in company “Data+” one year, this company is distributor of Esri products in Russia (that time exclusive distributor) – so, the practice way of using GIS I studied there. I finished two programs of ArcGIS 9.3.1 studying (second and third stages). Also, staff of the company improve my skills in GIS  a lot.
During my work in “Transparent world” I became a really advanced GIS user. I need to improve my skills by myself and with help of my colleagues (J.Zencevich, D.Aksenov, E.Esipova and E.Tsybikova) to solve nonstandard tasks very fast. It is really great experience, and all this tasks made me feel comfortable in using GIS now. I can make maps, web-services, make spatial analysis and many other things. Most of my skills I took in practice way – when I need to do smth, I just try to find a way to do it by myself, or asking my colleagues about my problem.
Also, I have a friend, who made for me a lot in my studying GIS. He always helps me, when I can’t to do something in ArcGIS. He's name is A.Novichihin, certificated ArcGIS teacher, he is my group mate, also worked in Data+ with me and now he works in Skolkovo (Russian “Silicon valley”) as a GIS specialist.

*-What GIS training are you interested in? I need to know more about representation module, and mostly about different spatial analysis tools, because I don’t use all of them now, and some of them can be very be useful for me. And I’ve never create any modules by myself, but it will be also interesting for me to do. Because there two main branches of my work – to analyze an environmental with different parameters and to illustrate my results in the very nice and accurate way. Most of our projects are very big by there territory, that’s why I need an opportunity to do most of my maps in an automatic way. But at the same time, due to my fundamental education, I want to see them in the classic cartography design. It is really very important for me, but now I need to find a compromise with the speed and quality, I need to know much more about automatically map layout in ArcGIS to make my maps faster in the same quality. Also, I want to know much more about ArcGIS on-line services, how to publish my project (in the technical way, because earlier, it did our programmer, but now I want to do it by myself). Our team already use ESRI Server Products (ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server) and it showed quite good results as a disseminator of information and information storage. But neither of us is specialist in Server products and we feel that do not use all the possibilities of this soft-ware. That's why it is very important for me and my Organization to take advance training in ArcGIS Server. Another approach of my work – is the analysis of the combination of different layers (forest maps, anthropogenic places (road network, cities and so on), protected areas, geology, elevation and others). We tried to make connectivity analysis of the territory to make sure, that our protected areas network is sufficient to protect our nature, and if not – to make a recommendation, what places are needed to be protected in future. kids map

At Right: Map for children's ecology education program

*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: Please describe the work that your current organization does:
“Transparent world” is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) that was established in 2000. Its mission is to democratize access to satellite information and to promote its integration into non-military decision-making. It has proofed experiences in producing and publishing forest-related maps making difference in the real world (such as old-growth logging moratorium in Karelia announced since 1996 and still supported by a number of leading international and Russian forest companies following the map produced by the same team of people; maps of intact forest landscapes used by IKEA as attachments to the contract with suppliers; or high-conservation value forests mapping for a number of FSC-certified forest areas).

The aim of the project has been the development of a remote sensing technique for illegal logging monitoring based on high resolution satellite images. A number of areas in Primorski Kray, Russian Far East, selected for monitoring by our partners from WWF in Vladivostok and other NGOs working in the region. Later the monitoring was expanded to other Russian regions, including Siberia, Caucasus, and the Russian North-west.

Transparent World has completed a number of HCVF projects involving method development, work with satellite images and in the field to locate such areas, creating maps and innovative ways of displaying them including on the Internet, negotiations with stakeholders based on these maps, and a range of partnerships with users including government forest authorities, forest companies, certification systems, and NGOs, both in Russia and abroad.

The TW team is a world leader in the HCVF area. The project of a global scale was mapping of intact forest landscapes (IFL). This type of HCVF is critically important for biodiversity protection at a landscape level and mitigating global climate change. Global maps of IFL created using unified criteria provide an overlook over state of such forests globally ( Many stakeholders use our maps of IFL in practice – they are referenced in the FSC standards for Russia and Canada and have met with interest by FAO for inclusion in the global Forest Resources Assessment. Aspiring to make our monitoring results available for general public through the Internet, we have began to develop online applications to create and support cartographic web-services focused on a range of environmental issues:

The web services include spatial data visualized on the background of satellite images or topographic maps, linked with text description of the problem. They include data on ecosystems and threats to them. This information was either produced by TW or provided by partners (to mobilize existing information and place it in the public domain is a major overarching objective of TW). Near-real-time monitoring data were obtained by processing satellite imagery.

We prepared 3 wall maps in different scale, this maps shows all Federal protected areas in Russia. It is the most actual and detail map of Protected areas in Russia these time. We collect data of PA’s in different formats from our Ministry of Environment (list of coordinates in different projections, maps and schemes, text describes and other). We integrated all of them in the unique format, create base map and as a result have an accurate map of PA’s in Russia.

connectivity analysis of the territory, analysis of  protected areas network in the Barents Region

*-ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION: Please describe your personal role in the organization:
I’m working in TW 4 years, 3,5 years of my work I was a specialist of cartography and geoinformatic. I made paper and web maps, web-services, map illustrations into the books and so on. So, I worked with most of projects, which were realized in our company, because the result of all of them was maps. So, it was very useful for me, because I improved my GIS and cartographical skills a lot. I prepared spatial analyzis of the data, calculated statistics and so on. Now, I'm a head of a department "Information center". The objective of my current work is to provision an operational information and resource GIS and Remote sensing support on current nature protection issues of public importance, to Increase transparency and openness in the field of environmental problems and violations, promoting human rights  in the sphere of the environment. We are informing target groups about ecological problems through using GIS and Remote Sensing technologies, dialog with stakeholders, making analysis and conclusions of the different environmental problems, creating a public cartographical information resource of the environmental problems in Russia, writing articles about violations of using environmental resources and natural environment problems. So, this time I make all of these steps - finding a problem, verifying it by satellite images, making map or simple illustration, writing an article and informing target groups. It seems to look like I don't need using GIS a lot, but is not really so. With this new position I start to use GIS in completely other way - I need to do everything very fast, correct and prettily. And I need to improve my skills in it.




Mr Cesar Javier Lenzi Gomez, Centro de Investigación y Conservación Marina - CICMAR, Uruguay
*-address: República de Mexico M191S08, El Pinar, Canelones 15008, Uruguay.
*-phone number(s): +598 99 388 418
*-email address(es): javier.lenzi at
*-job title or role in the organization: Investigator

Humans have caused an increasing rate of impacts originating an impressive loss, degradation, and fragmentation of coastal and marine ecosystems. Many factors have greatly contributed and many have been identified in Uruguay. However, they remain poorly understood, and solutions are almost inexistent. I wish to have the opportunity to make a contribution to a better understanding of these impacts and promoting smart solutions to relieve them. My objective is to learn more about how to effectively address ecological and conservation studies and how to put my knowledge in action in order to improve the evaluation and management of natural resources in my country. Therefore, I have been building on my own experience on GIS learning by myself, but also doing courses. When I was at College I had the chance to take an introductory GIS course that allowed me to think in a spatial perspective and made me want to incorporate this tool in my work. Later, when I was doing my MS studies, I could work using spatial data relating seabird colonies distribution with high productive areas at-sea. Additionally, I have been using GIS for mapping during several outreach activities and publications such as talks, technical reports, and especially in the publication of the Atlántico Sur Bulletin. In order to go further with my objective I need to build more knowledge on GIS tools. Having the chance of gaining experience will be very important because ot SCGIS extensive background in this field with many people classworking in related issues such as geographers, biologists, educators, among others. Furthermore, the opportunity to attend two conferences will be highly important because there will be an occasion to learn from other experiences and from experts from all around the world. Moreover, I could share my work with my course partners who probably will have similar doubts and concerns than me. I would like to learn from all of them in order to make an improvement of my work for the conservation of biodiversity.

In 2006 I took an introductory GIS course in my national University, and this was the first experience with this kind of tools. This course was based on IDRISI software (I do not remember the version) and the last two classes were about ArcView 3.2. During this course I could learn how to geo-reference a picture in IDRISI and about doing an array of calculus such as areas, perimeters, buffer areas and solve hypothetical problems the professor set up for the students. In 2009 I took the course on Statistical Analysis of Climatic Data using MATLAB 7.0.4. During this course I could set spatial analysis with scripts and also generated maps. For instance, I could run ANOVAs, Correlations, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on satellite images (i.e. matrixes of three and four dimensions) using this software and mapping the results. The final assignment of this course required intensive programming The use of GIS in my daily work is mapping in the “Atlántico Sur” Bulletin which is one of the most important outreach activities I ever did. This bulletin is addressed to fishermen and the general public with the aim of spreading the work my organization does and to create public awareness about the conservation problems that seabirds and other biodiversity are facing in the world (please, visit My work consists in editing the text for the articles and the production of this bulletin which involves graphic editing, diagramming, and mapping. In order to do this last task I learned ArcGIS 9 (ArcMap) by myself and with the aid of my wife, Maite Pons, and Philip Miller who took the SCGIS training a couple of years ago.

I work in the “Centro de Investigación y Conservación Marina” – CICMAR (Marine Research and Conservation Center) that is an NGO composed by 20 members, among biologists, other professionals, and general public, dedicated to the research and conservation of the marine resources. CICMAR ( have been recognized as a non-profit organization in 2008 (Ministry of Education: Resolution Nº 2010 No. 142). Since then we have established collaborations, and also receive funding, to work on satellitemaps tracking of marine turtles and Blue Shark in the South-Western Atlantic Ocean, with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US) and DINARA (National Administration of the Uruguayan Aquatic Resources). In addition, other projects are being carried out like “Proyecto Albatros y Petreles” – PAP (Albatrosses and Petrels Project) that is sponsored by BirdLife International through the Albatross Task Force Program and have been supported by IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). Other projects CICMAR is running are related with marine turtles and sharks in collaboration with DINARA and some of them are undergraduate and graduate theses. Finally, I am running other project about gull ecology that is being carried out on a coastal island (Isla de las Gaviotas) off Montevideo city. I have established collaborations with othe NGOs, social organizations and the government that allowed me to gain experience from them and also make a better work (see below).

Part of our work is dedicated to spread the knowledge we generate to the general public. Several talks about seabirds, sharks and marine turtle’s distribution, by-catch and breeding ecology in the South Western Atlantic have been carried out in many institutions and social organizations.

In addition, to optimize the achievement of our objectives we work closely with fishermen, skippers, ship-owners and engineers in a collaborative way. Also, many of our members are onboard observers and have a straight contact with these important people. Furthermore, two of our members had the chance to be the scientific chief onboard our national scientific vessel working in a collaborative way with DINARA. This allowed us to be taking part in several links of the marine conservation chain such as the industry, scientists and government.







Name: Dr. Andres Rey d

email address(es): or
title or role in the organization:   At this moment I lead my own conservation project but I am not working in an organization. I am collaborating with other projects, I am in the board of Conservación Patagónica ONG and I am teaching biology at a local high school.
Organization name: Andrés Rey
Organization full street address (in your local format): Paseo del Alba 19 Dpto 3
(8370) San Martín de los Andes
Country:  Argentina
Work phone with country and area code: mobile: 0054 0294 15 4698227
*-Main email:

describe the work that your current organization does: Nowadays my conservation project is not done in an organization. My postdoctoral scholarship finished 2 month ago so I have applied for a researcher job in the National Council of Science and Technology of Argentina (CONICET) for the end of next year.

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I was born and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but since I can remember I was interested in Patagonia’s landscapes, flora and fauna. After deciding not to study to be a national park ranger, I started to studying biology. As an undergraduate I did not work in conservation projects but I worked at a high school as a biology teacher. After obtaining the degrees of Teacher and Biologist at the Buenos Aires University, I moved to San Martín de los Andes, a little town in northwest of Patagonia. Here I continued teaching biology and I worked for one year as the person responsible for education and tourism of the Fish Capture and Breeding Station in San Martín de los Andes, which allowed me to practice informal education. From these educational experiences I have understood that educating is as important as generating new knowledge on conservation.
Since I arrived in Patagonia, I have worked as a volunteer on private, government and ONG’s conservation projects. I have participated on the project: “Conservation and ecology of the huiña cat (Leopardus guigna) in northwestern Patagonia – Argentina” with the Licenciado Martín Monteverde, on the projects: “Management and conservation of guanaco”, on the development of native fauna diffusion material and leading conferences on guanaco conservation in the Center of Applied Ecology of Neuquén (CEAN), and as a collaborator in the “Patagonian and Andean Steppe Program” of the local Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) team.
After this experiences I became strongly interested in the biological conservation of guanaco (Lama guanicoe), considered as plague in livestock ranches, and in the development of strategies of sustainable use of them as a tool for their conservation. Guanaco was the most abundant and broadly distributed ungulate in South America, reaching 20-30 million before the European colonization, and native people used the entire animal (fur, meat, bones) to cover their needs without endangering their populations. Two hundred years ago competition with livestock, indiscriminate hunt, persecution and habitat modification started guanaco declination, nowadays reducing their abundance to 500.000 individuals, 90% of them inhabiting Patagonia. Guanaco, like their small camelid relative vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), has one of the most valuable wool of the world so live-shearing guanacos, resembling Inca’s prehispanic vicuña management, was promoted by Patagonian wildlife agencies as an economic alternative to livestock production. For three years I worked ad-honorem in the design and execution of the first events of live-shearing of wild guanacos in Neuquén, contributing to the  development of corral traps, management techniques, animal welfare protocols and monitoring designs (1; 2).
In 2004 and 2007 I obtained two scholarships from the Argentinean government (National Agency for the promotion of Science and Technology, ANPCyT and CONICET) that allow me a full time commitment to evaluate live-shearing effects on the population dynamic of wild guanacos. I worked on a traditional sheep ranch in Rio Negro province that carried out 10 live-shearing wild guanaco events in 5 years. During this work I led 10 volunteers, teaching them distance sampling and telemetry techniques in the field, where we can observe the amazing experiment of the life from inside the test tube! Results of this work showed that live-shearing guanacos did not produce a negative population trend, it did not increase shorn guanaco mortality or  reduce shorn guanaco reproduction during normal rainfall periods, suggesting that live-shearing could be a sustainable use and a potential guanaco conservation tool (3).Simultaneously to this work I studied the mortality of wild guanacos on wire fences in the same ranch, identifying this livestock management tool as a direct guanaco threat, quantifying their incidence on different age categories, and proposing an alternative friendly guanaco fence design to reduce mortality (4). With both biology conservation works I made my thesis and obtained the Doctoral degree in Buenos Aires University (UBA).
After becoming a Doctor in Biology, I obtained a postdoctoral scholarship from CONICET and funds to start a new project linked to guanaco conservation studying the incidence of red deer (Cervus elaphus) invasion on the guanaco declination in northwestern of Patagonia. In the beginning of XX century red deer was introduced in the northwest of Patagonia reaching 100.000 individuals nowadays. I am studying competitive interaction among these ungulate species and the effect of the abundance of puma’s (Puma concolor) exotic alternative prey (red deer) on their guanaco population regulation. Results of this study could be important not only for guanaco conservation but also to contribute to manage exotic red deer and native puma. In this sense I am now starting conversations with the purpose of collaborating with the red deer management plan of Lanín National Park, the nearest (and in a case adjacent) National Park to the ranches where I am working.
            For two years now, I have been in the board of Conservación Patagónica a small ONG created as a tool to develop actions in favor of local environment conservation, and I am a member of the South American Camelids Specialist Group (GECS) one of the volunteers expert groups in the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
            All these activities allowed to me to know and interact with different scientist and social actors in favor of conservation. Educational activities allowed me to interact not only with students but also with teachers and their subject-matter, detalle carta con alambrados- caminos y transectas CV 10pts bis bis bisincorporating conservation issues in the curricula. Academic activities allowed me to interact with other researchers, politicians, officials and governmental, ONG’s and private wild managers. This interaction has enabled to participate in several workshops (i.e. Technical issues, research priorities and applied actions to guanaco management in the south of Argentina and Chile), to be contacted to advise and teach about my expertise (i.e. Design, analysis, and abundances estimation of vicuña in Salta and Jujuy provinces), and collaborate with other projects (i.e. Patagonian and Andean steppe program of WCS). It is also important to mention that I have developed good relationships with the owners and workers of private lands where I carried out studies. This issue allowed to me to understand their productive concerns and share my conservation ones with them. I consider that this dialog very important, because people that administrate, work or inhabit the field are the most important wildlife managers.

My history in GIS is short. As an undergraduate I took an introduction course of ArcView 3.1 but for years I did not have the chance to use it. During my doctoral researches, the focus of my investigation was the demographic effects of wild guanaco management, so I use distance sampling and telemetry techniques, specific software and plain software related to GPS use for mapping, as OziExplorer 3.95.2 (i.e. figure 1)

Figure 1: Cabeza de Vaca ranch, wire fences in black, roads in red and transects design in blue.

After the doctoral thesis I started to analyze spatial and temporal patterns in my recorded data. I started working with direct observation of monitored guanacos by telemetry techniques. I studied radiocollared guanaco movements, management sites aversion, water sources distances and location areas in the managed section with ArcGIS 10.0 tools (i.e. figure 2).


Figure 2. Locations of radio-collared guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in the 50 km2 managed section and two contiguous northern sections, showing the northern (N) and north-eastern (NE) shearing zones (circles indicate the area with permanent structures), wire fences (black lines), the main stream (gray line) and artificial watering points (circled dots). a) Locations of 10 radio-collared males (squares, n = 120) between February 2006 and March 2009, and location areas calculated using the minimum convex polygon method resulting from the following number of locations (n) during the specified period (p) for each individual: m1: n=18, p=Feb 06-Jan 09; m2: n=21, p=Feb 06-May 08; m3: n=28, p=Feb 06-Mar 09; m4: n=25, p=Feb 06-Mar 09; m5: n=9, p=Feb 06-Mar 07; m9: n=12, p=Feb 06-Jun 07. The location area of m4 is divided in two sub-areas (stripped polygons, see text). b) Locations of 19 radio-collared females (circles, n = 137) between March 2007 and March 2009, and location areas obtained for each individual: f6: n=5; f7: n=9; f8: n=7; f9: n=4; f10: n=8; f11: n=11; f12: n=9; f13: n=8; f14: n=5; f15: n=9; f16: n=6; f17: n=8; f18: n=9; f19: n=9. Black symbols indicate guanaco groups >16 individuals.

describe your connection to the local SCGIS chapter: I shared my degree studies with Dr. Alejandro Gatto. He knows me and my work and he has helped me with GIS analyses many times. He invited me to apply for this program scholarship in 2012 but I felt I was more ready this year.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: Guanaco still is the most important native herbivore and the only ungulate that inhabits Patagonian steppe at the end of the Pleistocene (10,000 – 13,000 years ago).From that onwards period guanaco coevolved with Patagonian steppes, which estimately supported 30-50 millions of guanacos. Since the European colonization, and particularly since domestic livestock introduction in the 1880s, guanaco population declined severely due to interspecific competition, overhunting and habitat degradation. Nowadays guanacos only reach up to 500.000 individuals, occupying 40% of its original range, and more than 30% of Patagonian steppe is under severe desertification. Under this situation, all efforts to conserve guanacos will also be to conserve Patagonian landscapes, fauna and flora.  My past and present guanaco conservation projects are not the only one. However my projects have the particularity to be carried out in private rangelands, where most of remnant guanaco inhabit and their conservation usually produces conflicts of interest with livestock production. This situation confronts me with many obstacles. However my challenges are, working for these more endangered guanaco populations, generating knowledge about its particular situation, designing and proposing guanaco and landscape conservation tools that coexist with productive efforts, and have a direct interaction with owners and field workers who are the most important wildlife managers. Implementing GIS tools to analyze data collected during my doctoral work will allow me to investigate spatial effects of live-shearing events and how differently guanaco social groups use the habitat over time and in relation to human structures as wire fences and artificial water sources. The use of GIS tools on my current project with guanacos, red deer and puma will allow me to analyze spatial and temporal use and habitat selection of wild ungulates, identifying areas of exclusive or overlapped use and competitive displacements over time. GIS analysis of both projects will generate the first information about guanaco habitat use in livestock ranches and interactions among guanaco and an introduced wild invasive ungulate.


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compilation : Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program, May 2007 & 2020
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