Real-time community-based monitoring is a tool that connects local people with national law enforcement in an effort to stop illegal logging and deforestation. Using our bespoke ForestLink system, forest communities can send alerts and evidence of a number of threats to the forest, even in remote areas with no mobile connectivity. Our ForestLink system can be used to address a wide range of threats, including illegal logging, illegal mining and oil spills.
This project is currently supporting dozens of communities across Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana and Peru. Nearly 60 local observers have already been trained in Africa alone.
We work in the world's two largest rainforests: the Congo Basin and the Amazon. Spread over billions of acres, these forests are under threat from illegal activities like logging and mining. These activities cause a breakdown in forest habitats, undermining forest and indigenous peoples' livelihoods and destroying ecosystems.
National and local authorities in Africa and Peru often lack the means and mechanisms needed to supervise and control extractive industries' operations, and local communities lack the means and resources to alert authorities to illegalities.
By engaging communities in the fight to tackle illegal logging, this project seeks to strengthen their involvement in forest management using our innovative ForestLink technology. Rather than relying on external or third-party observers, working directly with local communities can help reduce monitoring costs and inefficiencies while also improving forest governance.
Working closely with local partner organisations, we’re training dozens of communities using our ForestLink system. This tool allows local people to send alerts and evidence of illegalities using a smartphone and bespoke app, even in areas with no mobile connectivity. We’re also supporting these same communities to advocate for their rights directly with logging companies.
Some of our achievements include:
" With the ForestLink system, I know that using just a mobile phone I can record an illegality anywhere in the forest. With this project I think the community will really see a change... We're not just doing it for ourselves, we're doing it for our children too. "
Longine, community monitor, Cameroon
" We have never had anything like this technology in the community. You know that illegal mining is nearby, and we sometimes see miners along the river. RFUK's ForestLink system allows us to be safer. We can control our territory now and send alerts if anything happens. "
Wilmer, community monitor, Peru
" I am quite satisfied with the project so far. Especially the training that has been given to our community monitors... I would like for us to be able to help ourselves, now that you have helped us start the process of standing up for our rights. And looking forward, we can start to restore the remaining rainforest for future generations. "
Nestor, community leader, Cameroon