BBC Radio 4 Appeal
Thank you for listening to the Rainforest Foundation's BBC Radio 4 appeal. If you haven't had a chance to catch it yet, you can listen again here on the BBC iplayer.
I was delighted to get involved with this appeal and take the opportunity to explain how the groundbreaking mapping work carried out by the Rainforest Foundation UK is protecting rainforests in the Congo Basin.
In our broadcast you can hear the voices of the rainforest, I now invite you to watch the footage here and see for yourself exactly how mapping strengthens forest communities in defending their ancestral homes, gain land rights, and by doing so protects millions of acres of rainforest from destruction.
I do hope you can support our appeal today.
Supporting our appeal
It costs £100 to provide a community with a GPS unit and a training manual enabling them to map their land independently.
Once the forest is mapped, a donation of £25 pays for one person to present their community map to a government official, in order to defend their land against logging.
To support our appeal you can give online via the Radio 4 website www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/appeal or by calling Freephone 0800 404 8144.
Or you can write a cheque to the Rainforest Foundation UK and send it to Freepost BBC Radio 4 Appeal. Please mark the back of your envelope Rainforest Foundation UK.
Why we map
In many cases logging concessions and decisions on how the forest is used are based on maps that are made from satellite photos which don't show the small village communities that are using the forest without destroying it. Before a community can start to protect its forest, it needs to be recognised and gather evidence for how it uses the forest.
"when a mining opportunity is discovered on our land, we are driven out without any consideration for our existence.
"With maps we can demonstrate that we are forest people, and the forest is our land".
Leonard Odambo, Co-ordinator of Indigenous Peoples Organisation MINAPYGA
Watch our introduction to mapping video here.
Where do we start?
To put forest communities on the map, and to ensure ownership of any community based project, we must start by getting everyone involved.
The whole community comes together to make a rough map on the ground. Using stones and sticks they mark important areas such as rivers, hunting areas or sacred grounds. Once the sketch of the area is made on the ground, it is transferred to paper.
Watch the first maps start to take shape here.
Using a GPS unit?
Community members then set out with a GPS Unit to collect co-ordinates for each of the important areas on their map.
Watch these anti logging tools in action here.
The finished maps
Once the data has been collected from the GPS units detailed maps are produced, putting forest communities on the map. See how these detailed maps come together here.
For more details info on mapping you can visit our dedicated mapping for rights website here and see some of the maps that have been produced, along with more videos and photos.