Remote Sensing and GIS

Remote Sensing and GIS

IORA’s Remote Sensing and GIS team specialize in the application of geospatial technology in the forestry and land use sectors. We have successfully carried out multi-temporal analysis of land use and land cover change using varied resolution RS datasets, created forest degradation maps, integrated RS analysis with mobile app based field inventory for forest carbon mapping, created vegetation maps and trained the large cadre of forestry professionals in these techniques.


Delhi Landmark Tree Map

Based on research and consultations with designated Forest Experts, IORA in partnership with Vertiver developed and designed the Delhi TreeMap. It was released by the Honorable Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the International Day of Forests (21st March 2016). The TreeMap formed a part of the awareness campaign to mark the symbolism of the International Day of Forests. The Map brings forth 59 significant tree species of Delhi that line the city’s corridors and provides us with vital ecosystem services including cultural, heritage and aesthetic values.

Location Delhi, India
Duration 2016
Client Name Not Applicable
Innovations in Ecosystem Management & Conservation (IEMaC)

IEMaC is a USAID supported program that aims to develop innovative models and solutions for gender-sensitive sustainable harvesting and efficient market channelling of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and    affordable, gender-sensitive and user-friendly fuel wood management technologies. The program aims to develop, pilot test and deploy its innovations in sites in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. IORA is implementing the IEMaC project in partnership with MART and Bioversity International.

IEMaC’s mission under the InFoRM program is the development of practical planning toolkits and models focused on:

  1. Solutions for gender-sensitive sustainable harvesting and efficient market channelling of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)
  2. Affordable, gender-sensitive and user-friendly fuel wood management technologies o Forest monitoring tools and indicators for Joint Forest Management Committees
  3. The IEMaC will contribute to the sustainable landscapes pillar of the US Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) and also to the GIM and NAPCC.


Location Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh
Duration 2014 – 2017
Client Name USAID
Feasibility Study for Conservation of Ecologically Sensitive Dodamarg Biodiversity Corridor Region

IORA, in collaboration with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Society and Maharashtra Forest Department, is carrying out a feasibility study for developing a pilot conservation project in the Dodamarg Taluka of Maharashtra based on innovative financial models. The project area is an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA), part of the Western Ghats (a biodiversity hotspot) and a wildlife corridor. This study will help to prioritize the financial mechanisms which can assist conservation activities in the area, for example, REDD+ feasibility. The project will assess benefit sharing mechanisms which can incentivize the local population to protect forests. The consortium’s objective is to reduce the pressure generated from various drivers of deforestation and forest degradation on the precious and pristine forest with rich biodiversity.

Location Dodamarg Taluka, Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra
Duration 2015 – 2016
Client Name Maharashtra Forest Department, Government of Maharashtra
Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) Program

IORA is a key in-country partner of the Forest PLUS Program, which is a bilateral USAID and MoEFCCinitiative. The Program aims to build REDD+ readiness in India through ecosystem management, REDD+ MRV and PPP initiatives. The Program is led by Tetra Tech ARD.

Under the Forest PLUS Program, IORA, in association with the Michigan State University (MSU), is developing a national Forest Carbon MRV system for India. IORA is also leading the development of a national PPP and convergence framework for REDD+ in India and leading the development of four REDD+ pilots; two jurisdictional REDD+ projects and one landscape level project.  IORA is partnering with MSU, Forest Survey of India (FSI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to design advanced algorithms for remote sensing analysis using optical and radar data. The algorithms are focused on forest type identification, degradation and deforestation mapping.

Our interventions include designing systems for assessment of forest health across types and landscapes, building human and institutional capacity, developing and deploying improved scientific methods for carbon inventory and reference baselines, actively engaging stakeholders, facilitating public private partnerships in the forestry sector and developing pilot voluntary community based REDD+ projects across four chosen landscapes in India.

Location Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim
Duration 2012 – 2017
Client Name Tetra TechARD
National Technical Assistance to Analyze Data and Design Best Practices during Updation of Forest Working Plan

Assam is currently revising its forest Working Plans for 21 forest divisions based on the National Working Plan Code – 2014 (NWPC (National Working Plan Codes)-2014). These Working Plans detail the activities planned to manage forests and natural resources under each division of the forest department for 10 years. IORA is providing technical assistance to analyze the data, update relevant portions of the Working Plans and train forest department personnel on NWPC-2014.

IORA will assist in updating 21 Working Plans in Assam as per NWPC-2014 using global best practices and latest technology and approaches. IORA will also prepare the State to access upcoming national and international financial instruments like REDD+, NAMAs, INDCs, Green India Mission, etc.IORA will work on integrating remote sensing analysis and GIS with the Working Plan designs and implementation in a seamless manner, and creation of robust datasets. In order to ensure mainstreaming of best practices for future working plan exercises. IORA is also developing tools such as Mobile Apps, data analysis spreadsheets etc. Training programs will be conducted for the tools and systems developed for this project.

Location Assam, India
Duration 2016 – 2017
Client Name Assam Projects on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society (APFBC)
Estimation of Potential Value of Ecosystem Services and Development of REDD+ Project for Assam

IORA is developing a pilot Jurisdictional REDD+ project in Assam. It will enable a successful integration of sustainable forest management interventions with special emphasis on income generation and livelihood security of forest dependent communities.

IORA will assist in setting up an interdepartmental REDD+ Cell and a departmental REDD+ Task Force in the State. IORA will also conduct socio-economic, ecological and Land Use and Land Cover analyses to develop a REDD+ baseline. The monitoring plan will be developed after elaborate consultations with stakeholders. All these activities will culminate in the development of a Jurisdictional REDD+ project with an appropriate design so as to leverage national and international financing. IORA will also train forest department personnel on REDD+ activities. This shall enable the state to take over the management of the project post exit of consulting support of the REDD+ project.

Location Assam, India
Duration 2016 – 2017
Client Name Assam Projects on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society (APFBC)