Smartphones help to save forest in Cambodia

University of Copenhagen, Danmission, the IT company Web Essentials and local peacebuilding organizations in Cambodia have developed an app for smartphones that helps protecting the forest.

Photo: Allan Michaud

The app “Prey Lang App” makes it easy for local forest patrols in Cambodia to geo-reference, document, and upload data about forest resources and illegal logging.

The app is used in the The Prey Lang Forest, that houses at least 27 endangered animal and 20 endangered plant species. The forest suffers badly from illegal logging. It is contributing to Cambodia’s already high deforestation rate, which is the third highest in the world.

According to a new report, the forest protectors of Prey Lang patrol has recorded 2,926 cases of forestry crimes in four provinces since February 2015 using the “Prey Lang App”. The community monitoring is used to document the importance of the forests to local livelihoods, report the illegal activities to the authorities and affect the political decision makers on a national level.

The Prey Lang Forest in Cambodia has the highest carbon sequestration values in the region making. Estimated 200.000 Cambodians in and around the forest depend on its resources to survive.

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