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Training course paves way for climate mapping

Twenty government officials last week completed a three-week training course funded by the Global Environment Facility on advanced Geographic Information Systems, to enable them to undertake climate mapping and zoning.
The programme covered spatial analysis, geodatabases, network analysis, 3D analysis, and climate modelling.
The course was made possible through collaboration between the Asian Institute of Technology and the Strengthening Agro-climatic Monitoring and Information Systems (SAMIS) project.

The training session was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
The 20 attendees came from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources responsible for data management, and the Department of Agricultural Land Management’s modelling staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Scientists and academics from the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute and the National University of Laos also attended, along with officials from the Department of Forestry.
A closing ceremony for the training course took place on Friday, led by the Director General of the Department of Agricultural Land Management, Dr Nivong Sipaseuth, and Assistant FAO Representative to Laos, Mr Chanthalath Phongmala.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Chanthalath said the course would enable specialists to prepare Laos’ first climate atlas in collaboration with the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
This would also assist the Department of Agricultural Land Management as it begins preparations for agro-ecological zoning at the national level.
“This training aims to improve adaptation to climate change and food security in Laos under the auspices of the Strengthening Agro-climatic Monitoring and Information Systems (SAMIS) project,” he added.
Laos’ first climate atlas and national-level agro-ecological zoning are among the initiatives being prioritised.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology recently finalised the development of a database containing all Laos’ relevant historical climate data. International experts from the SAMIS project are assisting government specialists to prepare the input database.
Post-training, a continued follow-up over six months will assist experts in Laos as they produce the modelled spatial climate data that will later be included in the climate atlas.  

By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa 
(Latest Update February 4, 2020)

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