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Tech Training Transforms Forest Monitoring for Women and Youth in Jogjakarta

Technology-based monitoring is pivotal in safeguarding forests by enhancing monitoring capabilities, providing accurate data, enabling rapid response to threats, and supporting sustainable forest management practices. Forests often cover vast and remote areas that are difficult to access. The use of technology enables monitoring of these areas without the need for extensive ground patrols and covers more ground, ensuring comprehensive surveillance.

With funding from Google.org’s Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, we’ve collaborated with World Resources Institute for the Technology-Based Participatory Training on Forest Monitoring for Women and Youth held in Jogjakarta, Central Java. The training was joined by women’s groups from Aceh (Jaringan Komunitas Masyarakat Adat and Forum Konservasi Leuser), West Kalimantan (Pupuk Sintang, Jari and Lembaga Bela Banua Talinoi), South Sulawesi (TLKM and Pinus), and Central Sulawesi (Sikola Mombine).

Training materials consist of the Social Forestry Scheme per the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. 9/2021; participants learned how to use offline apps such as Global Forest Watch, used for forest monitoring, and Forest Watcher, used to alert deforestation and measure the potentiality of the forest. The training covered data collection basics, exploring and assimilating the limitless possibilities for technological interventions in forests to drastically improve the forest ecosystem.

During the training, 34 participants engaged in fruitful discussions and knowledge sharing on the digitalization of forests, highlighting important strategies for data-driven decision-making. The participants swiftly grasped the concept of basic Geographic Information System (GIS). They developed their skills during the field exercises at Eco Edu Forest (Wanagama) University of Gadjah Mada in Gunung Kidul.

Those who joined committed to sharing their skills and knowledge with absent team members, teaching what they learned from the training. They are eager to undergo further instruction in basic GIS to create a map of their forest and are now able to apply reliable methods to map protection and utilization zones, especially in the supported areas of the Social Forestry and Youth Program.

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