Friday, October 19, 2007

Pygmies using technology to protect their habitats

Pygmies joint venture with logging companies and use GPS systems for monitoring

When Congo Republic's northern pygmies go out into the forest these days, some will be carrying handheld satellite tracking devices (Global Positioning Systems) along with their traditional bows and spears.

Using GPS handsets to pinpoint sacred sites and hunting areas, the nomadic forest dwellers are literally putting themselves on the map to protect their livelihoods and habitat against the chainsaws and bulldozers of commercial loggers.

Through the scheme, northern Congo's Mbendjele Yaka people and the central African country's largest logging company are working in an unusual alliance to ensure the forest areas crucial to the pygmies' daily lives are left standing.

Read more here

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