This project, run by the Rainforest Foundation UK, "empowers local forest communities to use cutting edge technologies to map their lands and resources and use this evidence as advocacy and negotiation tools."
Forest communities, while often accused of driving deforestation, are much more often victims of the largely industrial practice. Participatory mapping by indigenous forest communities can aid those dependent on the forests in land-rights disputes and make them less vulnerable to exploitation.
Challenge juror Roger Malina believes this project exemplifies a larger citizen science movement that “will change the way we deal with many planetary issues from local perspectives.”
The RFUK's broader mission is to help establish and realize the rights of the traditional and indigenous communities who live in forests. "With secure rights to land and livelihoods," they claim, "forest peoples can effectively manage forest resources and direct and manage their own development." These participatory mapping projects perfectly serve that mission.