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Welcome to MappingForRights

Publications Multi-Media

MappingForRights, an initiative of the Rainforest Foundation UK and its local partners in the Congo Basin, aims to put communities in the world’s second largest rainforest literally on the map. Even though these forests are home to an estimated 50 million rural people, forest dwellers typically lack rights to land they have inhabited for generations and are largely excluded from decision making processes. Underlying this marginalisation is often a lack of reliable and transparent information on their use, ownership and possession of the forest.  

MappingForRights (MfR) aims to change this by enabling communities themselves to create highly accurate maps of their lands and resources through low-cost, easy-to-use mobile applications and using a specific methodology developed over the last 15 years. The data collected is then made available to authorised users through an online interactive map where it can be analysed in the context of other forest claims and uses such as logging activities, agricultural expansion, protected areas and REDD+ projects. MfR is intended to support planning, decision making and policy development related to community rights and forests, and has been applied in a variety of cases including participatory land-use planning and community forest development.

Since 2011, MappingForRights has supported more than 1,000 communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gabon and Central African Republic to map their forest lands covering more than seven million hectares. The programme continues to evolve with the ForestLink monitoring system enabling remote communities in four countries to send real-time alerts on illegalities in their forests. 

© Rainforest Foundation UK