The State University of Urgench (UrDU) in Uzbekistan in cooperation with the ZEF/UNESCO project and the University of Würzburg organized an advanced practical training on modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques and remote sensing (RS) methodology from September 5th to September 14th, 2011. The training was open to staff members from UrDU as well as to people involved in applications of GIS data and GIS&RS methodologies in Uzbekistan. This third course in the frame of the “training of trainers” program focused on practical usage of theory gained in the first courses held at UrDU in September 2010 and April 2011.

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The acceptance and the sustainability of the programme was evidenced by the number of participants and their interest of using GIS/RS in different environments. Numerous participants with no link to the university attended this course, unlike the first two courses, which indicates the successful dissemination of the knowledge in the region. Among the participants were engineers from Karakalpakstan, UNESCO staff members from Tashkent as well as staff members from the UrDU who attended already the third time. The wide spread of knowledge in this very specific discipline underlines the effort of the UrDu to become a center of competence for GIS and RS in Uzbekistan.

The course focused on complex geographical issues and applications within ecology, economics and agricultural sciences: e.g. analysing and assessing regional water usage, spatial analysis of ecological parameters, and exploration of the distribution of non-used lands in the agricultural system of Khorezm. All questions were addressed using spatial datasets, remote sensing data and data from secondary sources, which had to be combined, analysed and interpreted correctly. Many participants integrated own data and problems and supported therewith the practical expectation of the course. Two scientists affiliated with the ZEF/UNESCO project, Gunther Schorcht and FabianLoew (both from the University of Würzburg in Germany and also teachers in the first training courses) leaded the course and prepared documentations for the participants.After a presentation of their results, all participants received a certificate.

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The ZEF/UNESCO project in Urgench is a long-term scientific project with close collaborations of local partners such as UrDU and which focuses on improving natural resource management in the region. Developing human capacity, especially in modern and strong demanded remote sensing science, is an important part of the German-Uzbek project.

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