Prey Lang Monitoring App Wins UN Prize in Paris
As part of the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, members from the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) received the prestigious 2015 Equator Prize for using innovative communications technologies to document wildlife and forest crime in Prey Lang, the largest remaining evergreen forest on the Indochinese peninsula.
They received the prize after being selected this September by UN leaders, together with actor and activist Alec Baldwin, as one of 21 winning initiatives from 1,461 nominations from 126 countries around the world.
The Equator Prize is an international award that recognises outstanding local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
By using forest patrols and a smartphone app, the PLCN can geo-reference, document, and immediately upload information about forest health, illegal logging and wildlife poaching to a centralised database that can be accessed anywhere in the world. The network has become the primary source of reliable on-the-ground data about the Prey Lang forest.
Web Essentials is proud to be the technical partner of the Prey Lang monitoring app. We created the concept with the relevant stakeholders and then built the mobile app and database in sprints, allowing the villagers to use the app and give feedback immediately for improvement.
Being based in Cambodia, Web Essentials provides global-standards of quality software regionally and in Europe.
Whether our customers need challenging, entrepreneurial software that protects the Prey Lang forest or software for innovative business process automation projects, Web Essentials delivers.
With Web Essentials your project not only benefits your users but also helps provide sustainable development to break the cycle of poverty.
Helen Clark, head of the UNDP, put a special emphasis on indigenous people and their important role in the battle against deforestation:
“With respect to forests (...) when indigenous peoples and local communities don’t have secure land rights, or their rights are weak, their forests become more vulnerable to deforestation. That in turn worsens the climate change challenge, and impacts badly on livelihoods and human wellbeing.”
An article from newrepublic.com states the following:
"In February they set out into the forest armed with smartphones and started cataloging. In three months the monitors recorded and detailed 116 instances of extraction, while creating a record of resources still available including sites sacred to the minority groups who live there. [...] Phon said it was important for younger people to handle the monitoring operation. “When we go into the forest with a smartphone and an app, we can move much faster than the elderly-and the government.” she said via a translator."
cphpost.dk also writes about the prize:
"A collaborative project between the University of Copenhagen, a Cambodian IT company, the international development organisation Danmission and their Cambodian partner, the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), were awarded the UN Equator Prize in front of 1,800 people at the Parisian theatre Mogador during COP21 last night. [...] The app is also an effective tool to help combat corrupt officials who often co-operate with and are payed off by illegal loggers. [...] “Previously, it was costly to get people together so they could share information – this tool has changed that,” furthermore: “When everything is running smoothly with the app, it can show illegal logging hotspots on a weekly basis, and those areas can be patrolled.”
Making an impact in our local community is one of Web Essentials core purposes. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Danmission, University of Copenhagen, and the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) to use technology to empower local people to protect their livelihood and battle deforestation.
We are looking forward to continue working on this amazing vision together.