Smartphone Monitoring in Liberian Rainforests

Liberia tropical rainforest. Creative Commons: USAID, 2007.

This project will support Goldman Prize winner Silas Siakor’s efforts to protect Liberia’s forest from destructive palm oil plantation expansion and illegal logging with innovative smartphone technology that empowers communities to monitor and report illegal deforestation activities.

Over 40 percent of the rainforest of West Africa is found within the borders of Liberia, and many of the local communities rely on the abundance of these forests for the basic survival of their families. Today, as global demand for resources such as timber, oil, and industrial scale agriculture grows and developing countries grow desperate for economic growth, Liberia’s forests are quickly shrinking.

Recently government agreements were made with the EU and Norway to set aside 30% or more of Liberia’s forest as protected areas, cancel all illegal logging contracts, and reduce emissions from deforestation by 2020. Local leader Silas Siakor will be capitalizing on this public commitment to protect forests, by empowering local citizens through citizen reporting and strategic advocacy.

Using a new smartphone application called TIMBY (“This is My Back Yard”), the project will train and equip members of community forest governance institutions to participate in monitoring illegal deforestation activities in their communities. Together they will report their findings to the government leaders in Liberia, the EU and the Norwegian government, as well as international organizations and the media in order to hold the Liberian government accountable for the public commitment that was made to protect their forests.

Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

Explore Our Programs

Sign up to receive updates about our work.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please check the box below if you would like to hear from us via email:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please check out our privacy policy.


Check out our privacy policy for details on how we protect and manage your submitted data.