Summary of the SMART patrolling – A toolkit for better forest management in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a highly diversified forest ecosystem but is suffering from deforestation, forest deterioration, biodiversity loss, and destruction of ecosystems and habitats. SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is an innovative management tool designed to assist protected area and wildlife managers to better monitor, evaluate and adaptively manage patrolling activities.

The Government of Bangladesh deployed SMART patrolling in the Sundarbans – the world’s largest mangrove forest – in September 2017. Although guidelines were developed, they did not cover plain land forest or hill forest monitoring in the country. FAO in partnership with the Bangladesh Forest Department and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), developed a SMART patrolling toolkit for these types of forest. The toolkit has been piloted in four protected areas of Cox’s Bazar and will be used for management of hill and plain land forest across Bangladesh.It will guide the use on CyberTracker/Android phone for real-time monitoring of hill and plain land forests across the country. The toolkit will be useful for law enforcement, monitoring threats, forest and wildlife monitoring, and public awareness generation.