Photo | RTM Coordinator, Élodie Barralon, with local community leader Nestor
The Rainforest Foundation UK’s Élodie Barralon was recently in Cameroon, overseeing the latest phase of our real-time forest monitoring (RTM) project in the country.
Meeting with villagers in Cameroon’s eastern region, Élodie’s visit was an opportunity for RFUK to give logistical support to local communities and to get first-hand, detailed feedback on communities’ experience with our RTM technology, ForestLink.
Working with our local partner organisation, Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER), we started training community monitors in Cameroon in September. During this most recent visit, RTM kits were officially handed over to local community observers, putting the power to protect the rainforest literally into their hands.
Photo | RTM community kit
"Real-time monitoring was unheard of in our village," said a local chief. "When we heard about this technology, I was a bit skeptical, especially since many NGOs present us with impressive projects that are never get implemented. But this is different. It has become a reality and I trust the young people of our village to use these new technologies to the good of the community."
In addition to technical assistance, local communities were also given advocacy training to support them in defending their legal and customary rights.
"You cannot claim a right to something when you don’t even know what your rights are in the first place. This project has taught us about the law, and we now feel supported in asserting our rights," explained one community leader, Theo.
Our ForestLink system is designed to help local forest people alert authorities about illegal activities and prevent deforestation on their lands. We’re working with local partners in four countries – Cameroon, Ghana, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo – to further develop and scale up the technology.
Read more about our work with RTM on our blog.