ExCiteS case studies

In the last ten years, our interdisciplinary team has developed digital data collection tools for people with low technical literacy. With smartphones, farmers, agro-pastoralists, fishers, and Indigenous people can share their knowledge of the land. Unlocking people’ knowledge opens the way to develop “intelligent maps” bringing together mapping from space and mapping from the ground up.

CountryChallengeUse of Sapelli 
BrazilMapping land invasions on Indigenous territoryAshaninka developed a Sapelli project to record illegal invasions by loggers, drug traffickers and poachers on their forest territory.
BrazilMapping fishers’ territoriesPantanal fishers developed this version of Sapelli to allow them to represent their traditional areas of fishing to claim tenure rights.
BrazilMapping restoration areasPantaneiros are helping to monitor restoration initiatives in the Pantanal. They use their local knowledge to inform about the effectiveness of the restoration activities.
BrazilMapping ChangeDeveloping a Sapelli project with Guarani and Kaiowá communities who don’t separate nature from culture – showed us that environmental monitoring involves social and humanitarian monitoring too.
CambodiaMonitoring illegal loggingThis Sapelli-inspired forest monitoring tool supports the advocacy of indigenous Kuy and Khmer communities and their efforts to protect their forest and livelihoods (The Prey Lang app).
CameroonAnti-poaching and wildlife monitoringAs poaching and exclusion from conservation are key concerns of Baka and Nzime/Fang communities, Sapelli projects empower local people to report activities and monitor the forest around them.
CameroonRecognising Indigenous TerritoriesThe Sapelli digital tool supports the recognition of the key role of Baka hunter-gatherers Indigenous people in protecting forests.
Central African RepublicResource protection during loggingBayaka and Sangha-Sangha Indigenous People developed a Sapelli project to protect their key forest and aquatic resources from damage during logging operations.
Ethiopia            Crisis mapping byaffected agro-pastoralists forfood securityAgro-pastoralists communities in the Lower Omo, co-designed a project to map their natural resources to address issues related to food insecurity, water inaccessibility and conflict.
GhanaCombining Indigenous Weather-forecasting with Satellite ForecastsLocal farmers developed a project to collect indigenous ecological indicators and forecasts towards the development of climate services that combine indigenous and scientific forecasts.
IndiaMonitoring human-forest relationsNayaka people together with local environmentalists, are developing a Sapelli project to monitor human-animal conflict, forest resources and landslide and floods-related damage in the forest.
KenyaCitizen science for sustainable agricultural futuresSmallholder farmers in Western Kenya co-designed a project to map cropping patterns and challenges and share local knowledge about sustainable farming practices.
KenyaCitizen science and botanical knowledgeA Maasai pastoralist community co-designed a project to map plant species distributions and the issues associated with each plant to address, among other, the problem of loss of botanical knowledge.
NamibiaProtecting water holes for wild animals from damage by cattle herdsA Ju|’hoansi effort to identify cattle herders invading their conservancy by photographing ear tags on cattle, with time, date and geotag to provide evidence to police.
NamibiaMonitoring and reporting on the health of wildlifeJu|’hoan rangers using Sapelli to monitor and report on the health of wildlife in the conservancy for the purposes of setting quotas for sustainable hunting.
NigeriaLand use messaging & mapping for collaborative Climate-smart AgricultureSmallholder farmers co-designed a project to map their farms and report farming issues through WhatsApp to receive timely advice from agricultural extension officers and other farmers.
Republic of the CongoHuman – Wildlife conflictsLocal communities suffering crop damage caused by elephants, buffalo and apes developed a project to record the damage and report it to the relevant authorities in order to receive compensation.
Republic of the CongoConservation – IPLC conflictsBaYaka hunter-gatherers developed a Sapelli project to record abuses against them by Eco-guards, to report on poachers and animal sitings.
Republic of the CongoCommunity logging relationsMonitoring how logging companies are addressing their social obligations to communities, including FPIC negotiations and commitments made to communities.
Republic of the CongoParticipatory forest managementBaYaka hunting and gathering communities designed a Sapelli project to map key forest resources and community areas in an effort to participate in forest management within a logging concession.
ZambiaMapping urban flooding and supporting rural livelihoodsMapping urban flooding and Chikanda orchids to support sustainable livelihoods for women and improve Community Forest management.

Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 694767 and ERC-2015-AdG).

For further information please contact: f.moustard@ucl.ac.uk

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