Training for Indigenous Communities to protect rainforests

Indigenous people in remote rainforests are becoming citizen scientists to help predict climate change and deforestation impacts. Trained by Cool Earth, these communities use satellite data from Planet's 200 satellites to monitor wildfires, illegal logging, and other threats.

In Peru's Junín Province, forest monitors have been predicting worsening wildfires since the Rainforest Labs project started two years ago. Cool Earth collaborates with the Indigenous federation CARE to train communities in fire detection and management. In Amazonas, Indigenous stewards are measuring the effects of commercial logging.

The program expanded to Papua New Guinea in 2023, where Indigenous stewards identify illegal logging roads in real time. Regina Kewa, program manager in Milne Bay Province, highlights the importance of community engagement, biodiversity training, and the Rainforest Lab project in managing deforestation threats.

Cool Earth plans to enhance support for partners to utilise data opportunities effectively. “Challenges are increasing, but the resilience and exceptional knowledge of these communities offer hope,” said Matt Proctor, forest impacts lead at Cool Earth.

Image: Cool Earth

Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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