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* U.S. trains Forest Department on new mapping system for forests in Northern Sri Lanka
Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 08:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 16. Colombo: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and its Forest Department to manage Sri Lanka's valuable forest resources more effectively, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo.

Maps of the northern forests have not been updated for nearly 20 years, and conserving the natural resources in conflict-affected areas is a priority of the Government of Sri Lanka.

USAID provided specialized Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software and mapping equipment, and conducted a three-day training workshop for Forest Department staff to create new maps of forest cover in the North.

Six government officials from the GIS Remote Sensing Unit participated in the hands-on training on the principles and applications of GIS, the press release said.

USAID's Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Specialist, Thilak Senanayake, trains Forest Department draftswomen to create maps with USAID-provided GIS equipment.

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