Shrestha, Bhuban

A participatory GIS for community forestry user groups in Nepal: putting people before technology

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a tool for enabling mapping and spatial analysis to be performed for a variety of applications, including natural resource management and planning activities. This article explores some of the benefits and concerns of using GIS as a participatory tool. It draws on a case study in Nepal, where participatory GIS was used in the field of community forest management. It argues that although GIS has a somewhat justified poor reputation as a tool for participatory development, this is due to misuse of GIS.