The United States has bestowed Zambia with a new process to fight deforestation. The US Embassy based in Zambia has donated 16 personal computers to help the non-governmental organization Community Markets for Conservation so that it can provide training to the traditional leaders in the country's eastern province in the right utilization of satellite-mapping software.
The new technology will enable them to enhance monitoring and protection of the forests and wildlife within their chiefdoms. The work will be much easier for the traditional leaders by collecting the data and information through the computers' Geographic Information System software, which in overall help them in putting eyes and taking measures against destructive land uses such as charcoal production and unplanned agricultural expansion. The Geographic Information System (GIS) software also provides deforestation alerts and can detect forest fires, examine natural water resource usage, and monitor illegal logging in protected areas, as reported by Lusaka Times.
"We're honoured to assist Community Markets for Conservation with its combined effort to support local resource management, particularly to improve conservation. This is a great opportunity to reuse these computers in a way that aligns with a mutual goal shared between United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Community Markets for Conservation — community-led participation in the management of Zambia's natural resources," Jeremy Boley, Economic Development Office Director of USAID Zambia opined.
"This training is a major step up for community-led conservation in Zambia. The participants now have the knowledge to visually interpret satellite images of their chiefdoms using Google Earth to monitor deforestation and Global Forest Watch. These technologies will give them access to a wealth of information that empowers them to better protect their forests with real-time information to find and track fire incidences and the rates of forest loss and gain," Community Markets for Conservation Assistant GIS Officer Angel Makungu said.