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Global Forest Watch


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

South and Central America

Indigenous Forest Monitors Curb Deforestation

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  • This article details the results of a scientific study that highlights the importance of technology, communication, and Indigenous community participation to combat illegal deforestation.
  • Students will learn about the technology, resources, and people that are contributing to this effort in Peru. 
Teaching Tips


  • This article describes how "you can't prevent deforestation if you can't see it," which can help students understand the importance of gathering data.
  • Students will enjoy the article and may be impressed by the practical applications of technology in areas where there is no Internet service.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand the importance of forests and nature to Indigenous communities. 
  • The article is available in Spanish by clicking the link on the left side.


  • Language arts classes will benefit from the non-fiction text structures embedded in the article.
  • Science classes can read the scientific study that this article was based on to analyze the design of the study and see the measured impact it made in reducing deforestation.
  • Connections can be made in social studies classes discussing how cultures differ globally and how we can use technology to support "off-grid" communities. Have students list the benefits of better communication and community participation for this project.
  • This resource is an excellent one to include in a text set about deforestation. Have students read through the collection of articles over several periods to synthesize and compare the information presented.
  • Have a class discussion after students read the article. Do students think this is an effective solution? What else can be done to solve this problem? How can this technology be used more broadly? 
Scientist Notes
This resource describes a project that sought to curb deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon by empowering communities to take an active role in forest monitoring. The researchers provided local communities with technology, resources, and a monetary stipend to get them involved in protecting their local forests. This resource proves that such monitoring plans are effective and can be replicated elsewhere. The article from PNAS about this project is linked in the article and is a useful resource for advanced students. This resource is based on a peer-reviewed source, is accessible, and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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