Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies

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Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats for a wide variety of species and offer several ecological necessities to natural and anthropological systems. In spite of this importance, unprecedented destruction of tropical forest cover has been witnessed over the past four decades. Annually, approximately 2.1x105 hectares of forests are lost, with serious negative consequences on the regulation of the world’s climate cycle, biodiversity and other environmental variables. To mitigate these consequences, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has requested the developing countries to adapt new policy in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Under this policy, countries have been mandated to engage local communities and indigenous groups as critical stakeholders in the design and implementation of a national forest monitoring system (NFMS) that supports measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of actions and achievements of REDD+ activities.
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