Rainforest Connection: Creating a monitoring system to detect illegal deforestation

By enabling bio-acoustic monitoring, the Rainforest Connection both prevents illegal deforestation and halts animal poaching.  

The Problem

Deforestation is one of the primary causes of climate change; as more trees are cut down, there are fewer to capture the carbon released by human activity. In fact, the depletion of tropical rainforests adds more carbon to the atmosphere each year than cars and trucks combined. Laws in place to protect these areas are largely ineffectual: least 90 percent of the logging that takes place in rainforests is illegal, according to the United Nations.

The Solution

Rainforest Connection is fighting to combat illegal logging. They are working to connect the resources that are already in place to stop it: there are people who are trying to stop illegal deforestation. Rainforest Connection has built the first real time detection system for tracking illegal deforestation as it is happening. They repurpose old cell-phones, and put them high in trees in order to listen to all the sounds of the forest and then send real-time alerts when there are chainsaws or logging truck sounds. These alerts can be sent to partners and rangers on the ground who can use the information for responses and interventions.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Rainforest Connection, nonprofit. Established 2014.

This project was nominated by: