Forest cover as of 2000 shown in data layer from the University of Maryland (Credit: Maobi DRC)
An online digital mapping system is helping citizens and international groups monitor deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, New Scientist reported.
The mapping system, called Maobi, aims to increase the transparency of mining and logging operations, which are threatening the Congo’s tropical forest ecosystem. Built from the OpenStreetMap project, Maobi overlays maps with points where industrial activity overlaps forests protected by the U.N.
High profits from forest development and limited funding has posed a challenge to the project, which was launched on April 22.
The Congo is home to the Earth’s second largest tropical forest. The country’s 0.2 percent rate of annual deforestation is considerably lower than that of Brazil or Indonesia, but ongoing economic growth could raise it.
Image: Forest cover as of 2000 shown in data layer from the University of Maryland (Credit: Maobi DRC)