Phones in the forests
by fortiain, Forest Planet, June 27, 2011
Imagine this: A rural village on the outskirts of Mkuwazi forest reserve in Northern Malawi. A woman, stops, takes out a smart phone, starts up an app, takes a picture of a tree, then walks on and continues her business. A short while later she takes another photo, then another. Each time she uses the app, information is automatically uploaded over a mobile phone network, and her SIM card is topped up with a small amount of credit, perhaps only the equivalent of 10 or 20p, but enough to make it worthwhile. Meanwhile, the data is being used to verify that the community’s forests are still intact, that nothing much has changed, and as a consequence, the community continues to receive a more substantial income for the carbon credits accredited to their forest. Its easy to imagine, but is it feasible any time soon?
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