GIS Contributions to the National Policy of Cambodia - A Case Study of Land Use Planning in Battambang District

This paper will provide a brief introduction into the status of Cambodian national spatial data infrastructure in view of the institutional framework, national geospatial data policies and regulations, national geospatial technical standards and challenges, and the development of a national geodetic network. It also shows GIS contributions to the national policy (Rectangular Strategy) of Cambodia that was set up in 2005. The rectangles or sectors involved with GIS applications are listed in the paper. The paper visualizes a GIS application by discussing a case study of land-use planning in Battambang District, Battambang Province, Cambodia. 
GIS applications have been contributing widely to the Rectangular Strategy of Cambodia. The sectors include 1) enhancement of agricultural sector, 2) further rehabilitation and construction of physical infrastructure, 3) private sector development and employment generation, and 4) capacity building and human resource development. There are manifold projects in cooperation with the royal government and the donor community using GIS technology to contribute to these sectors, especially to the enhancement of the agricultural sector. Actually, about 100 students have obtained a scholarship to study GIS courses within the Faculty of Land Management and Land Administration which is run as a cooperation between the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) and the Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP), funded by the World Bank with technical assistance from Germany and Finland. Moreover, LMAP has used the GIS technology for cadastral mapping, land management and administration. 
In 2003, two pilot projects were chosen by the Royal Government of Cambodia in order to promote decentralization and strengthen urban district authorities. One of the activities in the pilot frame is setting up a Land-Use Plan for Battambang District, which is the case study of this document. According to experiences with this project, the GIS application has been a significant element (proven as a helpful/successful tool) in achieving objectives of spatial planning. It was used to analyze existing and future situations. All maps of existing and future land-uses, road systems, population distribution and maps of protection and promotion areas were set up with GIS. In addition, land-use balances and population projections were calculated by GIS. In the future, GIS will also be used to update the Land-Use Plan on a regular basis as well as to monitor the future spatial development within the pilot district.
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