Rainforest Connection is an open-source solution to help preserve rainforests.
Rainforest Connection is an open-source software and system to help preserve rainforests by detecting poaching and illegal logging. It creates acoustic monitoring systems to detect and reduce illegal deforestation and poaching in real-time.
Amazon rainforest (Ecuador, Peru, Brazil), Cameroon, Indonesia
Rainforest Connection in partnership with:
- Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and a local sustainable logging company Rougier in Cameroon
- Kalaweit Supayang Gibbons Reserve in Sumatra, Indonesia
- Tembé people of northern Brazil
- Fundacíon Pro Bosque (FPB) in Ecuador
- Conservation International (CI) and government rangers in Peru
Goal 13: Climate action
NGOs and government organizations working on preserving the rainforest and fighting illegal deforestation and poaching
Rainforest Connection uses old cell phones to create an acoustic monitoring system to detect sounds in the rainforest. Old cell phones stay charged by solar cells and are attached to an extra microphone. The phones can detect the sounds of chainsaws or gunshots nearly a mile away and send a text alert to authorities who can determine whether it is illegal and then stop it.
With the Rainforest Connection mobile app, any interested person from around the world can access their sound data.
There are five ongoing monitoring implementations in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Cameroon and Indonesia.
The app has been downloaded 1,000+ times on Google Play.
(smartphone ,feature phone, computer, tablet, other [specify])
(2G, 3G, 4G, LTE,…)
(Connection to market, Microsavings, Supply chain information, Education on farming practices, Weather information, etc)
At the core of each device is an Android smartphone with an operating system that has been modified and geared toward resource management, internal analytics, and power efficiency. The device has highly sensitive external microphones that can capture ambient sounds, like the sound of chainsaws, enabling immediate intervention from local authorities. The device can pinpoint the exact location the deforestation is taking place.
The devices are intended to be autonomous in operation, capable of operating indefinitely in the field, with minimal physical maintenance. Once installed in a tree, they may be considered abandoned until planned removal at the end of their service life (the length of which cannot yet be confirmed, but is expected to be 12 years).
Yes – each on the ground projects is assigned a Project Coordinator who will serve as the contact person if/when there are any issues. Interview with manufacturer
Shelf life is about 2 years, and replacement parts include the battery, power board, and cables. Most components are available for purchase on Amazon if needed. Interview with manufacturer
Expected to be 12 years
Reduce deforestation and illegal poaching
Within 24 hours of activating four strategically positioned bugs in the Kalaweit reserve in Sumatra, Indonesia, the RFCX system picked up illegal loggers and dispatched authorities. After two weeks of operation loggers stopped entering the 135-hectare region covered by the system. A year later, they had not returned.
Kalhara, P. G., Jayasinghearachchd, V. D., Dias, A. H. A. T., Ratnayake, V. C., Jayawardena, C. and Kuruwitaarachchi, N., 2017, TreeSpirit: Illegal logging detection and alerting system using audio identification over an IoT network, in 2017 11th International Conference on Software, Knowledge, Information Management and Applications (IEEE SKIMA), pp. 1-7.
Perales, V., 2016, The Message Is the Medium: Ecology, Mobility and Emergent Storytelling, in Emerging Perspectives on the Mobile Content Evolution, IGI Global, pp. 336-356.
Garrity, J., 2015, Harnessing the Internet of Things for global development, available at SSRN 2588129.
Marcu, A. E., Suciu, G., Olteanu, E., Miu, D., Drosu, A., and Marcu, I., 2019, IoT System for Forest Monitoring, in 2019 42nd International Conference on Telecommunications and Signal Processing (TSP), pp. 629-632.
Wright, T. M., Andrade, B., Fabiano, G., Hewson, J., Mendoza, E., Pined, J. and Tabor, K., 2018, Harnessing multiple technologies to combat deforestation–a case study in the alto mayo protected forest in San Martin, Peru, in PARKS, 24, p. 79.
Olteanu E., Suciu V., Segarceanu S., Petre I. and Scheianu A., 2018, Forest Monitoring System Through Sound Recognition, in 2018 International Conference on Communications (IEEE COMM), pp. 75-80.
Gross, M., 2014, Connecting with the natural world, in Current Biology Volume 24, Issue 14, 21 July 2014, pp. 629-632.
The product has been evaluated for its ability to reduce illegal logging and user satisfaction using app ratings.
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