Mobile Devices for Community-Based Forest Biodiversity Monitoring

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Effective assessment and protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services rely on the provision of accurate and timely collected field data that can support monitoring activities. International policy negotiations (UN CBD) supported by the scientific community (IPBES, GEO BON) identified the need for improved biodiversity monitoring systems. Recently, advancements in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) using handheld devices has enabled local communities to monitor species’ populations and their habitat in an efficient and cost effective way. In this research we present an integrated data collection system based on mobile devices that streamlines the community-based data collection, transmission and visualization process. We discuss the preliminary lessons learned from protected areas in the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve in Southwestern Ethiopia, home to many endemic species. We also assess the accuracy and reliability of community-based data and propose a way to integrate them into remote sensing (e.g. near real-time satellite degradation monitoring). The results show that the local communities are able to provide data with accuracies comparable to expert measurements, while incurring lower costs. Furthermore, the results confirm that communities are more effective in monitoring habitats’ biodiversity. For example, communities are able to monitor animal species and their habitats the whole year round, while intensive expert biodiversity assessments are incomplete because of the limited timeframe for data collection. This study demonstrates the high potential of integrated community-based near real-time biodiversity monitoring systems, with Sentinel-2 data streams as key satellite data source.
Abstract type: Posters
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventLiving Planet Symposium 2016 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 9 May 201613 May 2016


ConferenceLiving Planet Symposium 2016
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


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