ForestLink community real-time monitoring system being rolled out in Peru, Ghana, Cameroon and DRC

Forest Link_sm

Following the successful launch and piloting of the community real-time monitoring system in Cameroon, the initiative is now also being rolled out in Peru, Ghana and DRC with support from the UK Department for International Development and the Waterloo Foundation.

The low-cost system, which allows communities to send near real-time illegal logging alerts even from areas where there is no SMS or internet connectivity, potentially transforms the way that forests are monitored, greatly improving the quality and transparency of information on illegal logging and law enforcement. Information on illegal logging (and in theory on any other issue) is collected using a tablet computer or smartphone. Using a bespoke app, the information is coded and then transmitted to an online repository via a satellite modem micro-transmitter, where it is then accessed and analysed.

The project aims to test with partners the opportunities to integrate such systems into governmental forest enforcement mechanisms in the four countries and is exploring risks and suitable incentives for community-led forest monitoring.