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Smart Forest: a new system to prevent illegal deforestation

Smart Forest: a new system to prevent illegal deforestation

In Covasna County, Romania a forest will be equipped with devices to transmit sounds in real time

In Covasna County, Romania, a forest has been provided with a device for tracking and signalling forestry sounds in real time, which aids in the battle against illegal deforestation. Announced on Wednesday, 31 March 2021, the project, called Smart Forest, is part of Vodafone’s environmental mission and will help protect Romania’s forests from illegal deforestation.

Vodafone's smart forest solution is based on the system developed by Rainforest Connection, an American start-up and non-profit organisation. It connects with the mobile provider network and is fitted with acoustic sensor that captures a wide range of sounds from the environment. The collected data is organised and analysed in real time. If noises such as chainsaws, cars, etc. are detected, which could indicate possible suspicious activities, it sends real-time alerts to an application installed on foresters' phones.

A long-term goal - climate change

"The solution we are launching today responds to an immediate need to prevent illegal logging and to intervene in time to protect the last secular areas and a goal long-term action against climate change. Taking care of the future of the planet is a responsibility of all of us - authorities, companies, environmental organisations and citizens, and each of us can contribute to this goal through responsible behavior and joint efforts," said Murielle Lorilloux, CEO of Vodafone Romania, in a press conference.

Smart Forest allows forest managers to listen in real time to what is happening and to intervene promptly if needed. The devices are installed in the upper segment of the trees, in a non-invasive way, equipped with their own solar panels that provide them with energy and protected from the weather. A single device has a coverage radius of 1Km and can prevent the deforestation of over 3Km2 of forestry.

The network operator intends to expand the project in as many forested areas in the country, with the help of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests and local partners.

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