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JICA supports improved forest resources monitoring

Released at: 17:00, 18/03/2017

JICA supports improved forest resources monitoring

Photo: JICA

Tablet-based method provides better data collection and reporting.

by Tue Lam

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing support to Vietnam in applying tablet-based forest monitoring that not only improves the quality of collected data but also makes the process of data collection and reporting far easier for users compared with existing paper-based methods.

A national workshop on the use of tablets in forest monitoring was held by JICA’s Sustainable Natural Resource Management (SNRM) Project on March 16 in Hanoi, with the aim of sharing experience in applying the innovative forest monitoring method and exploring ways for its nationwide replication.

The workshop welcomed representatives from JICA, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (Vnforest), the Forest Protection Department (FPD), the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP), 15 cities and provinces, and other donor projects.

Tablet-based forest monitoring is innovative and provides a cost-effective, time-saving and easy-to-navigate method of forest resource monitoring through the use of tablets and an associated Android-based app, said Mr. Nguyen Quoc Tri, Deputy Head of Vnforest. 

This improved system builds upon existing official forest monitoring systems under FPD. It improves not only the quality of collected data but also makes data collection and reporting easier for users such as forest rangers.

The system streamlines forest monitoring by improving data accuracy (through a GPS function), enhancing data credibility (through geo-referenced photos), reducing mistakes in reporting (through digital reporting forms), and removing inefficiency in data management (through digital data transfer and centrally-controlled servers).

Improved forest monitoring is among the important prerequisites for better forest management and can also promote engagement by local communities through activities such as village-based forest patrolling.

Moreover, the robust and transparent forest monitoring system is among the requirements for Vietnam to receive REDD+ result-based payments (RBPs) under an international climate change agreement.

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