Coming soon! Earth Defenders’ Toolkit

Rudo Kemper
November 18, 2020

Today, in tandem with the Indigenous Mapping Workshop, we are excited to announce Earth Defenders’ Toolkit (EDT), a collection of open-source tools and training materialsfor communities on the frontlines of the struggle to defend critical ecosystems around the world.

How does it work?

A Cofan monitor in Ecuador using Mapeo Mobile

The toolkit will contain mapping, monitoring and digital-storytelling tools that can be used bycommunities to:

  • Document & understand rapid changes & threats to territory
  • Create maps to communicate history & connection to land
  • Document human rights & environmental abuses
  • Reinforce local advocacy with concrete evidence
  • Tell their story to the world

Our Approach

While distinct in functionality, all of the tools are value-aligned  and have the following in common:

  • built in partnership with frontline communities,
  • entirely open-source,
  • work offline,
  • allow communities to own & manage their own data.

In the coming months, we will use tried and tested approaches to developtraining materials that leverage technology to support local autonomyand ownership over data, and avoid creating dependencies on outsidesupport.In addition to providing a channel for tool access and training support, EDT will also build a collaborative platform for local communityorganizations and their allies and partners to co-create the toolkit andshare digital knowledge. Join the EDT community by signing up forthe mailing list, and we'll keep you posted on how to get involved.

A close up view of Mapeo Mobile in someone's hands

Why now?

EDT is the result of over 15 years of work with communities facingurgent threats of environmental and political abuses. The comprehensivetoolkit will collect critical tools and connect users with theappropriate technology for their particular needs. The collaborativeplatform will cultivate knowledge sharing and ensure ongoingimprovements to the toolkit.

The toolkit was conceived long before the COVID-19 pandemic, however,the rapidly changing global context has made the need for such aresource all the more evident. While travel has been restricted and manyprojects have been halted, unchecked resource extraction continues tothreaten the lives of Indigenous peoples and the future of the entireplanet. EDT is a critical channel for ensuring that frontlinecommunities have access to effective tools to defend their homes.

To learn more and sign up to the mailing list, visit:

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Rudo Kemper
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