IGCP has donated 14 tough pad panasonic model devices previously used in the mountain gorilla census to Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda. The devices will aid in piloting the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in the park. SMART is a tool used to monitor wildlife and record illegal activities in the regular ranger-based monitoring work. Launched in May 2021, the first ever SMART initiative will improve data collection methods from the usual paper based Global Positioning System (GPS) to an electronic method that will facilitate timely transfer and accuracy of monitoring data.
Commenting on the importance of SMART, Eustrate Uzabaho, IGCP Field Officer says, “The devices highly improve data collection and give the park accurate and timely data that aids informed conservation decisions.” To ensure efficiency, 30 rangers and 2 Research and Monitoring Wardens have been trained on the use of the equipment and application of SMART. “We are grateful to IGCP for introducing this initiative in Volcanoes National Park, we are optimistic that this action will go a long way in improving our work and achieving our monitoring and conservation objectives” says Jean Damascene Hakizimana, Acting Research and Monitoring Warden at Volcanoes National Park.