Mar 11, 2015 / 11:21

Information on Vietnam’s forests goes digital

People will be able to send authorities information about forest safety with their mobile devices in six provinces, under a project launched in Hanoi on March 9.

The data-gathering software allows organisations to collect field data, including GPS location tags and images, from the public's smartphones and tablets.
This is the first time this type of software has been used to monitor forest resources in the country. It will be installed in Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Dak Lak, Tra Vinh and Bac Lieu provinces.
The digital tools supported by Microsoft would allow locals to report forest management or safety issues to authorities without needing to send an email or file paperwork, said Bien Quang Tu, co-ordinator of the project. They could also access the system to get information on forests.

Hoang Phuong Thao, country director of ActionAid Vietnam, said the project's objective was to alleviate poverty by protecting and utilising forest resources more effectively.
"Our ambition in our cooperation in Vietnam is to promote the important role of forests, as we have done in Finland, to help with environmental protection, improve lives, develop the national economy and mitigate climate change," said Kimmo Lahdevirta, Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam. 
The three-year project, which cost 1.1 million EUR (1.2 million USD), is scheduled for completion in 2017.
It was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and ActionAid Vietnam.