Solar Powered Cell Phones To Monitor Illegal Logging

solarillegallogging

A pilot project is about to get under way where cell phones will be used to listen for the sounds of illegal logging.
   
Rainforest Connection aims to combat illegal tree poaching by using modern cell phone and Internet technology to act as an early warning signal, initially in the forests of Indonesia.
   
Devices will be installed in trees and will continually monitor for unnatural sounds such as the very distinctive buzz of chainsaws; a sound that can carry over quite a distance. It’s hoped the phones will be able to detect a chainsaw operating within a 500 metre radius. When an abnormal signal is detected, it will be transmitted to an online central database and an alert triggered in real time; allowing agents to intervene.
   
Data generated through the platform will also be made freely available to allow software developers to build real-time apps.
   
“In doing so, rainforest surveillance becomes a low-cost, crowdsourced, scalable endeavor, and we are able to tap the unlimited resources of a growing worldwide population of tech-savvy eco-enthusiasts,” says the Rainforest Connection web site.
  
According to an article on New Scientist, the phones will be connected to solar panels able to harvest energy during brief periods when light reaches the forest floor. 
  
15 monitoring stations will be used in the pilot project, which will occur in the 25,000-hectare Air Tarusan reserve in western Sumatra. New Android based phones will be used in the pilot; but Rainforest Connection has put out a call for donations of used phones running Android version 2.2 (Froyo) or higher to be used in other projects.
  
According to the WWF, 73% of timber production in Indonesia is believed to be sourced through illegal logging. A 2012 joint study by the United Nations Environment Programme and Interpol found illegal logging accounts for up to 30% of the global logging trade.