Participatory Mapping as a Means of Protecting Forests in the Congo Basin

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The Buckminster Fuller Challenge recognizes innovative strategies with the potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Each year, a distinguished jury awards $100,000 to the winning strategy to support further development and implementation. This week, we’re featuring the 21 semi-finalists currently under consideration for the 2011 award.

The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) is helping indigenous people protect six million acres of endangered rainforest from government-endorsed logging by teaching locals how to use GPS technology to map their lands and resources. The data will be compiled into a single map of the entire territory which will help forest peoples negotiate for better land tenure. RFUK has produced over 100 maps, trained over 500 people in 5 Congo Basin countries, and has directly benefited more than 18,000 people in forest areas.

Danielle Nierenberg
Danielle Nierenberg, an expert on livestock and sustainability, currently serves as Project Director of State of World 2011 for the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, DC-based environmental think tank. Her knowledge of factory farming and its global spread and sustainable agriculture has been cited widely in the New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, and
other publications.

Danielle worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She is currently traveling across Africa looking at innovations that are working to alleviate hunger and poverty and blogging everyday at Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet. She has a regular column with the Mail & Guardian, the Kansas City Star, and the Huffington Post and her writing was been featured in newspapers across Africa including the Cape Town Argus, the Zambia Daily Mail, Coast Week (Kenya), and other African publications. She holds an M.S. in agriculture, food, and environment from Tufts University and a B.A. in environmental policy from Monmouth College.
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