Updated May 07, 2019

The Prey Lang app

A forest monitoring smartphone application used to monitor and report on illegal logging and biodiversity loss by indigenous communities.


Christina Dahl jensen

Stage 5: Scaling

We are in the process of scaling the app to four new countries after having tested scaling in-country. The four new countries are: Vietnam, Myanmar, Peru and Colombia
Registered in Cambodiain Cambodia

Focus Areas:

Rule of Law and Human Rights, Forestry, Natural Resources and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Rule of Law and Human Rights, Forestry, Natural Resources and Peace and ResilienceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Cambodia and Myanmar

Cambodia and MyanmarSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date


Until recently, documenting illegal deforestation was difficult and expensive due to vast areas with little infrastructure. There was a need to go from hand written notes to a digital monitoring and reporting system that could include scientific data validation, a systematic approach to data collection and reducing costs of collecting data. With the It's our forest too app registering data became possible in a systematic way and resulted in validated monitoring reports.



The app is used for 1. Creating reference data incl. time and date; GPS coordinates and phone id is automatically attached to the observation. 2. Primary documentation. Data points included that the patroller documented the observation with a photo and an optional audio recording. 3. Thematic tag. After registration data points are automatically uploaded to an online database and validated by a database manager. Validated reports are subsequently published and get good media coverage.

Target Beneficiaries

An estimated 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Kuy, live in and around Prey Lang. While the forest is an integral part of their culture and spiritual life, they also depend on it for their survival such as farming upland rice, and collecting resin, building materials, medicine and food. Another 700,000 live within 10 kilometres of the forest. Protection from illegal logging is essential to the inhabitants. Because of the app illegal logging has been reduced.

Mission and Vision

It is our vision that more grassroot communities around the globe become able to document the illegal deforestration and treaths to their ecosystems. We hope to be able to scale up the app and it's systems to a global scale.

Innovation Description

In 2014, an innovative partnership was formed between Prey Lang Community Network, a social movement (Community Peacebuilding Network), a peacebuilding organization (Peace Bridges Organisation), the University of Copenhagen, Danmission (a Danish development organization), and an IT company (Web Essentials). Together, the partners developed an app for smartphones, based on the needs of PLCN, making it easy for local patrols to geo-reference, document, and upload information about forest resources, threatened biodiversity, and illegal activities. Data is used to document the importance of the forest to local livelihoods, international biodiversity conservation, and to report illegal activities to the authorities.

The data are used to document the importance of the forest to local livelihoods, international biodiversity conservation, and to report illegal activities to the authorities. PLCN is using these evidence-based data on illegal activities to produce bi-annually reports on the status of Prey Lang forest that are presented in press conference in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. Moreover, biodiversity data are also included in these reports that showcase the possibility of grassroots forest monitoring to be linked with scientific data and through scaling up, to serve as a tool to implement UN goals for biodiversity (SDGs etc.)

Competitive Advantage

There are no other forest monitoring technological innovations to our knowledge that succesfully have gone to scale and at the same time kept strong ownership at grassroot level. The aforementioned app is designed according to the needs of the communities and employs an easy-to-use interface that allows even illiterate people to be able to go through.

Planned Goals and Milestones

5 new features that will have a focus on the outreach for the end users that want to get the full detailed story of illegal logging and biodiversity threats in Prey Lang.
Funding Goal1,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted200,000
New Implemented CountriesColombia, Peru, Vietnam, Myanmar
Recruit1 database manager, 1 project manager, 300 volunteers
New FeatureWe want to create a new feature that will have a focus on the outreach for the end users that want to get the full detailed story including PLCN's followers. PLCN has 32,000 followers on Facebook.


May 2019
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Apr 2019
New Country Implemented In
Mar 2019
In The News
TITLEGroup estimates 152 Prey Lang forestry crimes in January
ORGANIZATIONThe Phnom Penh Times
Apr 2016
In The News
TITLEEnvironmental group calls for an investigation of attack
Oct 2015
Feb 2014
New Country Implemented In

Supporting Materials