The ForestWatchers: A Citizen Cyberscience Project for Deforestation Monitoring in the Tropics


  • Eduardo Fávero Pacheco da Luz Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (Cemaden), São José dos Campos, Brazil
  • Felipe R. S. Correa National Institute for Space Research Brazil
  • Daniel L. González Citizen Cyberscience Center
  • François Grey Citizen Cyberscience Center
  • Fernando M. Ramos National Institute for Space Research Brazil



Citizen science, Deforestation, Computational intelligence


Millions of hectares of humid tropical forest are lost each year. Here we introduce the ForestWatchers project, a citizen cyberscience initiative that proposes to involve citizens around the globe in monitoring deforestation. ForestWatchers combines volunteered thinking with participatory sensing. In the project’s volunteered thinking segment, volunteers with their own smartphones, tablets and notebooks, are asked to use a Web interface to review satellite images of forested regions, and confirm whether automatic assignments of forested and deforested regions are correct. In the participatory sensing segment, citizens are invited to contribute with all sorts of data on the status of forested areas, such as pictures, videos or sound records. As the first forest-monitoring program to directly involve lay citizens, the ForestWatchers project aims at providing volunteer-assisted deforestation assessment for countries, regions or communities that do not have the necessary infrastructure or manpower.

Author Biography

Eduardo Fávero Pacheco da Luz, Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (Cemaden), São José dos Campos, Brazil

Postdoctoral fellow at Associated Laboratory for Applied Computing and Mathematics


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How to Cite

Pacheco da Luz, E. F., Correa, F. R. S., González, D. L., Grey, F., & Ramos, F. M. (2014). The ForestWatchers: A Citizen Cyberscience Project for Deforestation Monitoring in the Tropics. Human Computation, 1(2).