Combining Mobile GIS and Indigenous Knowledge in Community Managed Forests

Jeroen Verplanke


For local communities in developing countries to be accredited for their forest management by international carbon funds, they need to supply verifiable data to support their claims. A PDA running ArcPad software and connected to a GPS can supply the necessary technology to do cost effective data collection in community forests that can be verified internationally. Experiments in Tanzania, India and Mali show that communities themselves using this technology can record their indigenous knowledge. This paper highlights the success of local communities in learning and using mobile GIS and the limits of this technology under difficult conditions. From these experiences a suggestion is made on how this technology could be practically implemented in developing countries.

*Full paper is attached below.