Tech4Communities project

RAINFOREST ALLIANCE ‘TECH4COMMUNITIES’ PROJECT FIGHTS DEFORESTATION

Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by Nick Baskett

Rainforest Alliance has launched a ‘Tech4Communities’, Hybrid Community-Based Monitoring System (HCMS), in the Western North Region of Ghana of Sefwi-Wiawso.

The first question we asked was – do we know what a ‘Hybyrid Community-Based Monitoring System’ is? No. We didn’t. But we looked it up.

We found this page https://www.isealalliance.org/innovations-standards/innovations-projects/enabling-community-monitoring-geospatial-technology.

This page gives more details on the project and how it works. Unfortunately, it falls foul of our editors dreaded Management Buzzword Disease (MBD).

The HCMS will leverage spatial data, satellite technology and community systems to undertake continuous, near real-time monitoring across the landscape, linking participatory approaches like community sketched maps to an online dashboard that will capture and visualise data

We believe they are trying to say that they will connect satellite maps with physically drawn maps from the community and show the final product in an online dashboard.

We truly think it is a shame when organisations are working to do good deeds, but feel like they need to explain it in a complex way. We regularly argue the case that people want to know in simple terms what an organisation is doing. They are not impressed with clever language!

Mapping is a key tool in the fight against deforestation — we wrote more about that in this article here, but they also are going to assist in ‘tenure registration’, and potentially capture other metrics while sharing the data as part of the governments Measurement Reporting and Verification system.

They further mention that the programme will last until July 2022, and involve continuous monitoring, which is an important improvement over less frequent snapshots.

The NGO partnered with the Sefwi-Wiawso Municipal Assembly, Olam Ghana limited and the Sui landscape management Board (LMB’s) for this project, and it hopes to create a hybrid monitoring and evaluation programme that combines remote and on-the-ground data gathering tools for data management and reporting at ground level.

The project aims to help to strengthen partnerships with organisations that operate at multiple scales across the landscape and work with Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) both in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

It targets over 10,000 cocoa farmers to improve their farming practices and help fight deforestation.

Mr. Roger Micheal Kayumba, the project coordinator said the project was to give farmers the necessary skills needed to be able to control tree planting, collect information on existing trees and technology needed to monitor deforestation within the landscape.

He said the project would assist cocoa farmers to conserve biodiversity and protect the area within which they farm from illegal activities. With the high rate of illegal mining activity in the region, they ask the farmers to report any findings to the authorities.

He also emphasized that the communities and traditional leaders would play a major role to ensure the success of the project.

Mr. Sylvester Mensah, the Akontombra-Bodi Landscape Management Board (LMB) Chairman, said they were able to raise 60,000 economic trees through the assistance of Rainforest Alliance.

We wish the project luck, and hope to see more details on the nature of the metrics being captured and their goals over the 2 year project window.

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