Liberia tropical rainforest. Creative Commons: USAID, 2007.

Smartphone Monitoring in Liberian Rainforests

July 11, 2015

Smartphone Monitoring in Liberian Rainforests

This project will support Goldman Prize winner Silas Siakor’s efforts to protect Liberia’s forest from destructive palm oil plantation expansion and illegal logging with innovative smartphone technology that empowers communities to monitor and report illegal deforestation activities.

Over 40 percent of the rainforest of West Africa is found within the borders of Liberia, and many of the local communities rely on the abundance of these forests for the basic survival of their families. Today, as global demand for resources such as timber, oil, and industrial scale agriculture grows and developing countries grow desperate for economic growth, Liberia’s forests are quickly shrinking.

Recently government agreements were made with the EU and Norway to set aside 30% or more of Liberia’s forest as protected areas, cancel all illegal logging contracts, and reduce emissions from deforestation by 2020. Local leader Silas Siakor will be capitalizing on this public commitment to protect forests, by empowering local citizens through citizen reporting and strategic advocacy.

Using a new smartphone application called TIMBY (“This is My Back Yard”), the project will train and equip members of community forest governance institutions to participate in monitoring illegal deforestation activities in their communities. Together they will report their findings to the government leaders in Liberia, the EU and the Norwegian government, as well as international organizations and the media in order to hold the Liberian government accountable for the public commitment that was made to protect their forests.

Related News

Grantee spotlight: Oceans 5

LDF grantee Oceans 5, an international funder’s collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and constraining overfishing, has undertaken numerous projects to implement marine protected areas throughout the world.

National monuments under attack: An unprecedented threat to our national heritage

Bears Ears National Monument, a Utah landscape sacred to numerous Native American tribes,  is under threat after President Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of national monuments designated since 1996.  LDF grantee Utah Dine Bikeyah and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition have joined forces to send a strong message to Interior Secretary Zinke: protect this sacred land.

LDF featured at CERES Conference

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was featured at the recent CERES Conference hosted in San Francisco. Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, was invited to present and discuss sustainable, climate-friendly investing to a diverse crowd of stakeholders. CERES believes that good governance, transparency, stakeholder engagement and bottom line performance are all hallmarks of a… View Article

Project Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming

On April 17th, Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming was released. The book, edited by Paul Hawkin, is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration to present the best available information on climate solutions.

LDF Grantee Spotlight: Our Children’s Trust

LDF is proud to support Our Children’s Trust (OCT), who represented 21 youth in a historic lawsuit arguing that the Federal Government is not only violating the youth’s fundamental right to life, liberty, and property but also the Public Trust Doctrine, by knowingly engaging in actions that create a dangerous climate situation.