Fighting illegal logging in Bulgaria's forests

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By BlueLink for APCNews

SOFIA, Bulgaria, 12 July 2010

Tree in Bulgarian frestTree in Bulgarian frestThe campaign “Expose and Improve: The power of IT in combating illegal logging” led by Sofia-based APC member BlueLink is aimed at combatting the intensive illegal logging that is accelerating the extinction of forests in Bulgaria.

The project combines digital tools and green activism in an online system for filing whistle-blower alerts on illegal logging. The online platform mobilises citizens to raise the alarm and ensured follow-up by BlueLink’s active partnership with expert NGOs and the State Forestry Agency (SFA).

The online platform, developed, hosted and maintained by BlueLink, started receiving signals on 17 July 2009 through the Save the Forest website. Alerts can be received as texts or graphics via email, web interface or SMS, and each case is displayed on a digital geographic map using a GPS.

Training was held in July and October for 105 volunteers on submitting and checking alerts using the platform.

“We consider the platform on illegal tree felling to be an important case study of an IT utility that brings together the efforts of individual active citizens, expert green NGOs and the responsible state authorities for starting positive changes in human behaviour and in our environment,” says BlueLink.

Photo by Jasab. Photo used with permission under Creative Content license 3.0.

(END/2010)

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