Ministry officials learn how to best plan for land use


14-April-2012

The delegates listening to one of the presentations

They now know more about geo-information, such as mapping and geographical information and how it can help the national development.

In a half-day workshop held at the Maison Football those present were able to learn about how geoinformation can help the country move forward.

This was in the presence of the Minister for Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet and other high officials from his ministry.

Geo refers to earth and geoinformation (geographic information) is data about land parcels, land ownership, information on forests, water resources buildings, roads and anything else to do with the earth.

The workshop was organised by the ministry and the Nairobi-based Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) of which Seychelles is a member.

The RCMRD director general Hussein O. Farah said their mandate is to support countries to get information about their land, country using modern tools and technologies called geographical information systems and others such as satellite imagery and aerial photography.

“We train people from institutions from our member states to use these modern tools to collect, analyse and use the information for development purposes,” he said.

He added that small island states like Seychelles – although very small – can benefit from geoinformation if it makes the maximum and best use of every bit of land.

“If you have very good information about your land, it can enable you to decide on the best uses on the land available,” he said.

He added that geoinformation in national development is for example, when the government wants to build roads, they needs to know about the terrain and soil. If they decide to conserve forests, they need to know the type of forests and where they are located. For water resources, geoinformation solves questions on the quality of the water and other relevant data.

There were also various presentations on the more technical aspects of geoinformation, with both the RCMRD and the MLUH representatives taking the podium.

The director of surveys in the land use department Dennis Barbé said training of staff was their priority and that their affiliation with the RCMRD gives them an advantage.

“We have invited stakeholders such as people who work in utilities, due to their need to know, for example where to place electric poles and water pipes and we have also got the environment department,” he said.

Mr Farah said they have also met representatives of the MLUH, visited various sections and will later meet other partners, while working out the best ways to build their capacities.
“We have already agreed to work together and support to the staff,” he said.

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