Social forestry aims at raising plantations for the common man so as to meet the growing demand for timber, fuel wood, fodder, etc., thereby reducing the pressure on the notified or protected forest areas. Through the social forestry scheme, the government has involved community participation, as part of a drive towards afforestation, and rehabilitating the degraded forest and common lands. One of the major lacunae in social forestry is the lack of information about the place or suitable sites where to implement the social forestry activities. Information about the length & type of roads, canals and railways along with the population pressure in and around it and the proximity to protected areas are crucial for the implementation of social forestry activities. SOFIS is application software developed for Social Forestry Department, Maharashtra State with the objective to identify the suitable sites for road/rail/canal side and block plantation. This standalone software was developed with third party open source GIS component – MAPWINGIS and Microsoft visual studio. MAPWINGIS component has wide functionalities of GIS processing and fulfils the requirement of the application. It does not require any cost for user. This software provides end to end functionality of display, navigation, rendering, archival of existing plantations, querying and site suitability analysis with the desired GIS datasets. Various thematic layers, administrative boundaries (with socio-economic data) and infrastructure layers along with Cartosat-1 satellite data pertaining to Nagpur social forestry circle were integrated to the software for modeling the desirable output. This software facilitates site specific reporting about thematic, socio-economic and infrastructure details of interested areas. Suitability analysis module will provide suitable sites for proposed linear/block plantation based on criterion specified. Ultimately planning module deliver the holistic planning of social forestry activities at a specified period for the desired administrative level.

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Social Forestry Information System (SOFIS): Standalone software for holistic planning of Social Forestry activities

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