23 Jul '12, 10am
Smartphones promoted as a tool for indigenous forest protection
By: Andrew Davey, special to mongabay.com July 23, 2012 Ranger using a camera phone on patrol in Java. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler. Smartphones beeping in the woods may be a welcome presence that augurs the increased ability of indigenous communities to be stewards of their own biodiverse forests. Representatives of these communities and their supporters have advocated that international conservation policies like Reduced Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) be increasingly managed by the communities themselves. A new strategy in this effort is to train local residents to use smart phone 'apps' to collect geographic data and photographs, allowing them to monitor the health of forests essential to their livelihoods, according to a report by the Global Canopy Program. Local data can then be incorporated into national databases so they become linked with remot...