Rhett A. Butler
Communities in the Central African rainforest can now report illegal logging in their territories as it happens, potentially enabling real-time law enforcement action.
The system, developed in a partnership between Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER), enables users to collect information on a tablet or smart phone and rely the data via a satellite modem transmitter, eliminating the need to be connected to a conventional mobile network. Transmission cost is roughly the same as a text message, according to RFUK.
"Our ‘real time’ technology is potentially a game-changer, as it helps empower forest people even in the remotest areas, and could transform the way that forests are monitored and governed," said RFUK Executive Director Simon Counsell in a statement. "It can be an important and cost-effective complement to satellite-based monitoring, providing 'crowd-sourced' qualitative data."