Retracted: Innovative GIS technology for forest monitoring: ForestLink
The article published on in the Rwanda Journal Series D Volume 1, 2016 Life and Natural Sciences: Special Issue II entitled Innovative GIS technology for forest monitoring: ForestLink with the authors S.R. Tchoffo, N. Rodrigue, L. Moutoni, G.T. HANDJA has been retracted because the authors did not hold the intellectual property rights or copyright to the Forest Link software, and this publication was not approved by the organization that financed the technology and created the software (Rainforest Foundation United Kingdom). The authors have themselves requested the retraction after a discussion where they too agreed that they did not possess the intellectual property or the right to publish the article.
Covering about 180 million hectares, the Congo Basin is the second largest contiguous rainforest on the planet after the Amazon. But logging companies operate there at a frantic pace, sometimes illegally and to the detriment of the local communities that are the custodians of these forests, and who often live in poverty and lack basic infrastructure. Instead, a good management of these forests can significantly contribute to improving the living conditions of these populations, for instance by generating timber royalties that can be used for providing services or building infrastructures that benefit local communities. Communities themselves can play an important role in monitoring the forest operators' activities. To support them in doing so, British NGO The Rainforest Foundation UK and the Cameroonian association Forêts et Développement Rural have successfully developed and piloted technology in Cameroon which enables communities to capture and transmit geo-referenced reports of forest illegalities to a central database in near real-time, even from areas where there is no mobile phone or internet connectivity. The system has many potential applications and is easily adaptable to different kinds of forest monitoring, including for instance wildlife populations, poaching, positive achievements under initiatives such as REDD, etc.
Keywords: Cameroon, Forest monitoring, geo-referenced report, GIS, natural resources, real-time.