With the aid of a mobile app, the shrimp farmers can use digital solutions to monitoring water quality and are thus getting to know options for environmentally friendly shrimp-farming.
Photo: © GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, Inc.

Indonesia – saving mangrove forests via smartphone

Indonesia’s mangroves protect the climate and provide a livelihood for many people. Mangrove conservation needs everyone’s support. In collaboration with Germany’s GIZ, the Indonesian Digital Transformation Centre has developed a mobile app in order to control the water quality of the mangroves forests and create awareness on the natural environment.

Digital solutions for climate action are a declared objective of Indonesia’s Digital Transformation Centre, set up by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ has been working locally using digital tools to improve resilience and conservation in the natural environment. The focus is particularly on the country’s extensive mangrove forests, which clean the water, store large volumes of CO2 and maintain the soil around them.

Understanding in order to act – the BMZ/GIZ project in northern Indonesia

The waters of the mangrove areas in northern Indonesia, provide a livelihood for the many people who farm seagrass and shrimp. However, increasing use of the ecosystem is causing soil and water quality to deteriorate, adding to pressures on the mangrove forests and leading to their disappearance. And yet agriculture needs these plants to survive. A solution to protect them has now been created in the form of a digital smartphone app.

GIZ developed the mobile app in collaboration with the GSMA Mobile Innovation Hub and Indosat Oreedoo Hutchison, a local mobile communications provider in northern Indonesia. It allows people living in the affected areas to collect data on water quality, for example, or the condition of the forests. Users simply record their observations on their smartphone and mark the location. Software analyses the data collected and creates a digital map which provides a clear indication of where targeted help is needed.

The data stored in the app provide knowledge for the local government. At the same time, the app raises awareness among people living in these areas of the need to conserve mangroves as part of their environment.

As Rambli, a community leader of Setabu in northern Indonesia, explains: “We can now keep a closer eye on our seas and mangroves.” And Philippe Bellordre, Head of Operations at GSMA Mobile4Development, adds: “The conclusions we draw are invaluable and provide key information for many different countries and contexts. Protecting the forests is a global challenge that is essential in many coastal communities.”



More information:

Read more about the digital Transformation Centre in Indonesia

Climate protection with the Green climate funds


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  • user
    Julius Owabumuwa January 31, 2024 At 5:11 pm
    I love this mobile app. I hope it can be adopted by all developing countries so that farmers can record thier observations as well as challenges facing their production activities. These can be used to create a digitised map such as cropland data for further agricultural research and developmeny