Ajit Pattnaik Project Director, Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project


Dr A.K.Pattnaik belongs to Indian Forest services and currently Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. He has done his PhD on phytodiversity of Chilika lake, a Ramsar site of India and Diploma on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, University of New Castle upon Tyne, U.K.

His expertise are in the field of Wetland Research, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, training and Management, integrated Lake Basin management, implementation of community based livelihood projects.


Use of very high resolution satellite imagery for forest monitoring mechanisms
Forests are spread out in vast geographies and mostly hard to access due to poor accessibility and difficult terrains. Monitoring forest area vegetative cover in general and the impact of forest improvement/afforestation activities in particular, becomes a major challenge in the above context. With the advent of modern technologies, remote sensing products like high quality multispectral satellite imagery have become affordable. At the same time, IT and GIS tools have also evolved to cater to various image processing and analytical needs. OFSDP operates in about 1,966 sq km of forests spread over 10 districts of Odisha and one of its major objectives is restoration of degraded forests through community participation. An indicator of forest restoration is the improvement in vegetation/canopy cover of the target area due to project intervention. To scientifically assess the change in vegetation/canopy cover, satellite imagery based vegetation cover assessment was adopted under the project. For this purpose two sets multispectral satellite imagery was used, one set corresponding to the period before starting interventions in the ranging between 2005 and 2009 and the second set of 2013-14. Judicious use of customised scripts for automation and use of spatial database management systems helped in minimising the processing time, human errors and human resource requirements, and emerged as a cost effective monitoring tool.