Economics of forest promotion in private land: A comprehensive enumerator training for survey

Economics of forest promotion in private land: A comprehensive enumerator training for survey

  • Prakriti Paudel

For many years, forests have been losing their ecological integrity, biodiversity, and capacity to instate ecological processes and ecosystem services. In this age of such ubiquitous threats and challenges, the restoration of private forests stands out as an effective method for forest management. Forest restoration is an inclusive method that involves the deliberate and systematic process of rejuvenating and revitalizing forests that have been degraded over time. In other terms, it can be called a modified form of reforestation that emphasizes ecological functionality and enhances human well-being in degraded areas. Forest restoration in the private land aligns with sustainable development goals, promoting economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity in Nepal. In the case of private land, the implementation of forest restoration supports carbon removal and biodiversity conservation and implies environmental justice.

ForestAction Nepal, in collaboration with SANDEE – IDRC embarked on a research initiative entitled “Economics of forest restoration in the Chure region of Nepal” in May 2023. The study seems to be a crucial step towards implementing effective nature-based climate solutions and accessing financial resources to support forest restoration in the Chure region of Nepal. So, under this, a team of researchers have been performing farm plot-based household surveys to analyze the economics of forest promotion in private land in Madhesh Province. To facilitate this research, a comprehensive training session was conducted on February 10-11, 2024 for eight enumerators participating in the survey in Chandranigahapur, Rautahat. The training focused on equipping participants with the necessary skills in GPS and mapping techniques and the KOBO collect app.

Enumerators participating in the training

Global Positioning System (GPS), relies on a network of satellites orbiting the Earth to pinpoint your location with remarkable accuracy. By receiving signals from multiple satellites and performing complex calculations, GPS determines the precise coordinates of the plots. Whereas, KOBO Collect is an Android application used for collecting data through a form on mobile devices, facilitating efficient data collection during the surveys. Once the data has been configured to connect to the author’s Kobo Toolbox account, forms can be downloaded into the application and ready for data collection of different plots. For generating these location sample plots, the systematic sampling technique was opted by establishing center grids at 10-kilometer intervals and generating 24 points, distributed within 1 km, 2 km, and 3 km radii around each primary center point grid. Then the private forest, orchard, and croplands were identified by hovering over their plots time series of Google Earth imageries. These plots that do not belong to any of the above-mentioned groups were removed from the generated samples. The GPS receiver collects signals from multiple sample plots and enumerators can be tracked with the help of a GPS tracker.

Learning to navigate the coordinates of sample plots through GPS

In the interactive sessions during the training, enumerators were actively engaged in entire learning process regarding the objectives of the project and survey along with the way of reaching the mentioned sample plot through GPS, and the proper technique of surveying with Kobo. Through this, participants had the opportunity to practice sample plot identification and enhance communication skills through role-playing scenarios. Enumerators enriched the learning experience by sharing real-life examples and case studies illustrating effective communication techniques and their impact on workplace dynamics. They were engaged and interested in their work with a sense of fulfillment. Enumerators, even assured us about the confidentiality and security of the data they will be collecting.

General plot outline of one of the sample plots in Parsa

We believe this training will offer a transformative journey to every enumerator as well, for seeking to enhance knowledge and skill in the respective field. Such interactive sessions not only grab students’ attention compared to passive learning methods but also demonstrate practical relevance in the real world. Practical use of GPS activities provides enumerators with hands-on experience with technology and equipment. This experiential learning can foster their understanding and retention of knowledge.

Moreover, open dialogue and knowledge-sharing among participants cultivated a collaborative learning environment, enabling mutual support and collective growth. One of the participants shared his enthusiasm for incorporating GPS devices into training sessions. “GPS devices revolutionize fieldwork,” he remarked. “With precise location tracking and mapping capabilities, they streamline data collection processes and enhance overall efficiency.” echoed by another participant. Participants unanimously agreed on the transformative impact of integrating GPS devices and Kobo tools into training sessions.

Engaging in the demonstration of household survey

We as a trainer feel grateful for the opportunity to share knowledge, expertise, and insights with participants Reflecting on participant feedback and insights gained during the training can aid in our future training approaches. It was a collective effort instrumental in progressing the goals of our research and promoting sustainable and economic practices for forest restoration in the Chure region of Nepal. Moving forward, we remain committed to harnessing the collective wisdom and expertise of all stakeholders to realize our shared vision of a resilient and thriving ecosystem in the Chure region and beyond.


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