Forest monitoring groups to be trained in RTM ForestLink operations

Forest monitoring groups to be trained in RTM ForestLink   operations

Independent forest monitoring groups from eight counties will on Tuesday, 6 October, begin a three-day training workshop on Real-Time Monitoring (RTM), Forestlink Technology in Gbarnga City, Bong County. 

The workshop will bring together 24 community based independent forest monitors from Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, and Gbarpolu.  

The training workshop, according to a release, will focus on the monitaur-users, collectaur-users, collecting alerts and management, presentation of data and user agreements, ethical standards and branding guidelines, and form management and creation. Participants will also be trained on an end-to-end alert life cycle, documenting the deployment and use of ForestLink in its various aspects, data collection and transmission via the internet and SMS and internet, extracting images from the phone and uploading to Monitaur. 

The workshop is organized by the European Union Non-State Actors project: “Strengthening the capacity of non-state actors (NSA) to improve FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes in Western Africa” implemented by the Volunteers To Support International Efforts In Developing Africa (VOSIEDA) and Tropenbos International based in The Netherlands, with funding support from the European Union. The training will be delivered by a network of Independent Forest Monitoring Coordination Mechanism (IFMCM) with the Civil Society Independent Forest Monitor (CS-IFM) as a lead partner. The network consisted of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Media Institutions and Forest Communities. 

Real-time community-based monitoring is a tool that connects local people with national law enforcement in an effort to stop illegal logging and deforestation. Using the ForestLink system, forest communities can send alerts and evidence of a number of threats to the forest, even in remote areas with no mobile connectivity. The system is used to address a wide range of threats, including illegal logging, illegal mining, and oil spills.  

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The Technology was first introduced in Liberia on March 30, 2020, following a week-long Training of Trainers (TOT) for civil society and community leaders by RainForest Foundation United Kingdom (RFUK). The community training will be conducted by members of the IFMCM who participated in the TOT.

Following the training, participants will be assigned smartphones with a full package of ForestLink application/technology for data collection, transmission, and analysis, which will form the basis for advocacy. 

Data collected technology will be transmitted by the Community Based Independent Forest Monitor (CBIFMs) through the RTM ForestLink app. The NUCFDC and NUCFMB will be responsible to conduct pre-verification of the alerts transmitted by CBIFMs, while CSOs, relevant government entities (FDA, EPA, Labour, LLA, etc.), and community unions will be responsible to conduct joint verification mission to support development of reports and policy briefs. 

George Harris

George Harris holds a diploma in Journalism and a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences. He initiated this site to increase coverage on Liberia's agriculture sector that is underreported by mainstream media in Liberia.

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