Pygmies Embrace GPS

 - Oct 13, 2007
References: theglobeandmail
Pygmies are welcoming technology into their culture by employing satellite tracking devices to map their sacred areas and protect them from loggers.

"When the northern pygmies of Congo-Brazzaville go out into the forest these days, some will be carrying hand-held satellite tracking devices along with their traditional bows and spears," according to Reuters.

Using GPS handsets to pinpoint sacred sites and hunting areas, the forest dwellers will be taking steps to protect their livelihoods and habitat against commercial loggers.

With training and technology provided by the trust, logging company Congolaise Industrielle des Bois and international partners, the Mbendjeles, will us GPS to mark out forest areas and even specific trees they want preserved.

According to a trust representative, "The GPS hand-held sets will have icons on them, so they don't have to be able to read and write. They basically go out and say okay, click, here is a sacred site, and a GPS point is taken and links up to the satellite."