Uganda introduces an app and game changer for National Forestry Authority
It unites satellite technology, and human networks, to show where and how forests are changing, who is using them, and how we can help.
Source: Global Forest Watch
Date: March 2016
The GFW (Global Forest Watch) online mapping platform and Forest Watcher mobile app was launched in Uganda on March 17 . The app has been tested by Forest Monitors, rangers, and NFA (National Forestry Authority) staff in the forests of Budongo, Bugoma, Kalinzu, and Kasyoha Kitomi Central Forest reserves, as well as Kibale National Park and also by private forest owners within the Budongo-Bugoma Chimpanzee Corridor in the Hoima and Masindi districts for the last 6 months.
The app is an online monitoring and alert system that provides the most current, reliable, and actionable information about what is happening in forests worldwide. It unites satellite technology, and human networks, to show where and how forests are changing, who is using them, and how we can help sustain them for future generations. What’s more, GFW is free for everyone to use and easy to understand.
The app is especially pertinent to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and NFA. These agencies are mandated to manage protected areas, forests, and reserves within the country, and as such, they shall be able to use GFW to better enforce laws, monitor concessions, and detect illegal deforestation.
Other users, such as Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) would use the app to identify deforestation hotspots in near real-time, mobilize action, and collect evidence to hold government and companies to account for forest-related commitments, as indigenous communities will upload alerts and photos when encroachment occurs on their customary forest lands. Buyers of major commodities shall be able to monitor compliance of suppliers with relevant laws, commitments, and certification standards while their suppliers shall be expected to demonstrate that their products are deforestation free and legally produced. In addition, the media shall be expected to highlight trends in deforestation.