By: Era Mae Encina and Marielle Louise Ventura
LOS BAÑOS—The Geographic Innovations for Development Solutions (GrIDS), Inc. conducted a training on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for beginners last March 15-16 at the Continuing Education Center Conference Room, University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The training aims to capacitate the different sectors, primarily the local government units (LGUs) and those in the academe, with the use of geospatial technology such as GIS and remote sensing. Participants of the training included representatives from LGUs, regional offices, and national government agencies.
Geospatial technology involves the use of tools that help in the geographical mapping of Earth. Technologies under this include remote sensing, which can be used to estimate land cover and possible use; and GIS, which stands for Geographic Information Systems, designed to capture geographic data, which the training aims to familiarize its participants with.
According to Lester Ryan Mojica, Corporate Secretary of GrIDS, Inc., they also provide trainings and modules regarding disaster risk reduction and management, in response to calamities such as flooding, earthquakes, and landslides.
“Meron kaming dinevelop na mga modules para i-assess yung susceptibility ng mga areas una muna sa flood then later on sa landslides. Yung mga modules [and] yung mga training lectures and materials na meron kami ay ina-identify, elementary, yung mga areas kung saan may mataas na risk sa mga hazards,” says Mojica.
(We developed modules to assess the susceptibility of the areas primarily to floods, then landslides. The modules and training lectures and materials we have, identify areas with high risk of hazards.)
He added that the modules and materials would assist those involved in planning departments of LGUs as well as those in the private or investment sector, including those in real estate, to help them identify areas for their development projects. Mojica emphasized the importance of these technologies in facing the environmental problems in the country, particularly climate change.
Aside from the trainings, GrIDS, Inc. also has other activities such as the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm which aims to introduce and encourage the youth, primarily elementary and high school students, to take science-based careers and help address environmental problems in the future.
GrIDS Inc. is a company that provides technical expertise and consultancy for mapping, environmental projects, capacity building, and impact assessments.