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Rainforest Alliance introduces Forest Watcher Mobile App to monitor deforestation

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Rainforest Alliance has taken another prudent step by introducing the Forest Watcher Mobile App in the Sui River landscape in the Western North Region of Ghana. 

The Forest Watcher Mobile App uses online monitoring system and alert systems of the Global Forest Watch (GFW) to view areas of interest in the field.

The use of this application will help to conserve biodiversity, build climate resilience, reduce emissions from land-use changes in Sui Landscape.

Speaking at a two-day training programme in Kumasi for 16 selected cocoa farmers on how to use the GFW application, the Manager, Landscapes and Communities Rainforest Alliance, Mr. Kwadwo Nti Baniako explained the training session for the enumerators on GFW was part of two projects being implemented by the Rainforest Alliance.

Rainforest Alliance introduces Forest Watcher Mobile App to monitor deforestation

These projects are  Landscape and Environmental Agility Across the Nation (LEAN) project which is a four-year project funded by the European Union’s flagship Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) initiative that aims to conserve biodiversity, build climate resilience, reduce emissions from land-use in Ghana and help smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods and also the Tech4Communities: Hybrid Community-based Monitoring System (HCMS) funded by Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) through ISEAL Innovation Fund which aims to empower the Landscape Management Board collect and manage data for decision making.

Global Forest Watch Technology Fellow, World Resources Institute (WRI) Washington D.C and facilitator for the workshop, Mrs. Abigail Frimpong explained that the training focused on discussions on the use of Forest Watcher Mobile App including; data collection, analysis, forestry laws, map reading techniques, advocacy and partnership building techniques. 

“Day two was primarily for review of the previous day’s works and practicing the use of the Mobile App in the field. Our aim is to set up a monitoring team and leverage on existing initiatives to monitor and report forest infractions within the Sui River Landscape.

“We believe that this will help provide aggregated data on causes of deforestation evidenced to the forest authorities and its time the government of Ghana invest more into forest monitoring through the use of modern day technology which is very easy to use and leaves you with much time to do other important assignments,” she said.

Project Lead for the HCMS project, Mr. Alvin Adu-Asare explained that data on deforestation will be collected by the LMBs over 6 months period.

This information, he said, will be used to draft article to support advocacy strategies on deforestation within the Sui Landscape.

Cocoa farmer and participant at the training from the Suhenso community in the Sefwi Wiawso Landscape, Damptey Evans Yamoah expressed gratitude to Rainforest Alliance for equipping them with knowledge on how to utilise Global Forest Watch tools to monitor their designated landscapes against deforestation and wildfires.

“Through this workshop our eyes have been opened to the use of technology for monitoring deforestation and wildfires. We know how to monitor off-reserve forests and report forest infractions with the use of GFW tools,” he added.

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