A Technology startup Rainforest Connection is planing to install its real-time detection system that helps protect forests and deter illegal logging using discarded Android smartphones to send instant alerts to forest rangers, enabling them to intervene swiftly.
The Californian technology startup, Rainforest Connection (RFCx), has developed a tool − made from recycled smartphones − that it says will pilot new ways to monitor and stop illegal logging and animal poaching throughout Africa’s equatorial forests.
It has formed a partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), an international scientific charity that works for the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.
The two organisations are planning to install the anti-deforestation, anti-poaching technology in Cameroon this year.
FCx says it has developed the first real-time detection system for protecting the forests and deterring illegal logging, using discarded Android smartphones to send instant alerts to forest rangers, enabling them to intervene swiftly. It says current monitoring methods often rely on aerial surveys or satellite surveillance, which usually detect deforestation days or even weeks after the event.
The RFCx system was first tested in 2013 against illegal loggers in Western Sumatra, Indonesia, and proved that the technology would work. Using highly-sensitive microphones, each autonomous, low-cost device can protect one square mile of rainforest, often home to over a thousand species of plants and animals.
The devices, built to operate for years, employ a unique solar panel design that can generate adequate electrical power even under the shadow of the tree canopy.