Forest Hackathon 2016: A Coding Marathon to Create Mobile Apps Linking Communities and Forest Enterprise Solutions

ForestHack2016_Poster_FINAL_with WIM logo (1)

IDC Environment and Livelihood Development Foundation (ELDF) is coordinating with the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI) and 8Layer Technologies, Inc. to launch ForestHack2016, the first forest-related hackathon in the country, on August 27-28, 2016 at the UP Los Baños College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB CFNR).

ForestHack2016 also the inaugural event within the ELDF Forest Geoinformatics Series (FGS, #CommunitySourcing4Development) that aims to demonstrate the role of geoinformatics and disruptive technology for community-sourcing data and information, appropriating land use, and transforming current practices for developing marginal forest upland areas into a more deliberate, analytical approach that best promotes sustainable forest enterprise development outcomes across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

A hackathon is a coding marathon where computer programmers and others involved in software or hardware development, including graphic and interface designers, collaborate intensively over a short period of time to create their own technology project. Approximately 150 students across information technology, computer science, forestry, and related disciplines — coming from different Philippine universities — are expected to participate in the 24-hour competition. Students who have been accepted to participate in the event will learn more about forest land use planning-the central theme for the ForestHack2016 contest–during a pre-event workshop on August 13, 2016 hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Forest Management Bureau (FMB).

Volunteers and mentors from the UPLB Forestry Society, CFNR Student Council, and open-source technology groups – Drupal Pilipinas, Here Maps, Mozilla Philippines, Python Philippines, and Raspberry Pi Philippines – will assist student participants.

These students will be challenged to develop a mobile software application (app) that provides Filipinos from rural communities the ability to collect, access, or share local data and information about the current status of forests and forest lands. These data can be supplemented by Local Government Units, for example, to develop a Forest Land Use Plan, a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a Local Climate Change Action Plan, or an Ancestral Domain and Sustainable Development Protection Plan. Data collected using the apps developed at ForestHack2016 serves as the basis for future biannual FGS events that will focus on collecting and mapping information related to sociocultural practices, local market demand for forest products, and operational research for site-species matching.

The collective set of tools and information-sharing platforms created and further incubated over the next few years will link source funding from private equity/social impact investments, public sector initiatives, and nongovernment organization efforts with appropriate sustainable upland enterprises, that are equitable and economically viable to local communities. Gradually, investors and other stakeholders will have access to updated, centralized information about our forest and upland communities, as well as analysis that will guide conservation and protection efforts and identify suitable areas to develop plantations for specific crops, relevant to site characteristics, climatic conditions, and acceptance by the local communities.

Teams are required to register online at not later than August 10, 2016. Applicants from each team shall be notified of their acceptance for the contest via email by August 12, 2016. Students are not permitted to participate on more than one team during the event, however, a team can have until August 20, 2016 to finalize their members.

For more information, refer to the official ForestHack2016 website:

Facebook:, #OurForestsOurFuture




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