Data sharing is an often overlooked issue in community-based forest monitoring initiatives. It will require more attention as forest communities increasingly participate in monitoring conservation efforts. The growth of participatory monitoring and the increasing use of technology can empower local people and inform external policy interventions; equally, it can generate risks to communities if clear data sharing protocols are not established and agreed. Addressing data sharing and its different challenges is essential to facilitate the flow of critical information for decision-makers, while guaranteeing respect for local rights.
This paper draws on the experience of developing a data sharing protocol as part of the Firest COMPASS community-based forest monitoring initiative in Guyana, with the Makushi indigenous people of North Rupununi. It is a pdf version of the information from our webpages on data-sharing.