A Mobile System for Community Based Natural Resource Monitoring: A Case Study in the Sierra Madre, Chiapas

Key words: community-based monitoring, birds

For our thesis work in the cloud forests of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, Mexico, we tested a novel natural resource monitoring methodology that uses Android phones donated from Google.org, mobile data collection freeware (Open Data Kit), and Google Earth as a tool to collect, analyze and share environmental data. In collaboration with the coffee cooperative Comon Yaj Noptic and a private coffee farm and reserve Finca Arroyo Negro, we carried out 190 sampling events with four community volunteer monitors between September and December 2011. We sampled key environmental targets such as avian biodiversity, above ground biomass, forest utility, rare species observations and internal control of coffee operations. These data, collected in digital format with the aid of smart phones, led to the creation of in depth spreadsheets and real time dynamic maps for use on Google Earth. Natural resources information that can be shared and visualized is considered valuable, if not central, to large-scale payment for ecosystem services programs like carbon payment initiatives and the UN REDD program, that will require ecosystem service accounting on a national scale.

Map Risk Vulnerability
State: Chiapas, Mexico
Municipality: La Concordia 
Area: El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve

Elizabeth Tyson
Adam Calo
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Committee Members
Logo CSU Joshua Goldstein
Julia Klein

Logo ECOSUR Luis Bernardo Vázquez
Luis Bernardo Vázquez

Eduardo Naranjo
Local Partners

Common Yaj Noptic


Efraín Orantes Abadía