Exact mapping of villages in DR Congo

A BBC report on Africa reminds me of trying to manage proper firewall rules in a fast-paced enterprise.

Hundreds of villagers are helping to map parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo where thick forest and conflict have prevented effective mapping.

So far about 190 villages have been found in one area of Bandundu province where old maps show only 30, UK-based charity The Rainforest Foundation says.

Ever had someone demand that you open the firewall immediately so they can start reaping rewards? The proper security response is to pause and try to estimate their actual needs, keeping role-based access and similar principles of good governance in mind. The reality is business units often do not see the risks and/or value in precise measurements…I’m tempted to throw in a pun about logging here.

“In one of the sectors of the territory that the groups are mapping at the moment, there are something like 190 villages but on the official map there are about 30,” Cath Long of the Rainforest Foundation which is organising the project told the BBC’s Network Africa.

She said millions of Congolese depend on the forest for their existence.

“The real worry is that permits to cut timber, permits to extract resources will be given to external companies without recognising the fact that people are already there and already using the forest,” she said.

I may try to work in this story the next time an executive calls me and rants about the firewall processes blocking his/her business plan, deadlines and profitability/savings goals.

Can’t wait to see the reaction when I reference the forests of DR Congo.

Mobile and wireless technology is really making some interesting models in Africa. Something tells me these small instances are signs of opportunities for security devices and designs, perhaps even forming the majority of future markets for communication tools in unstructured/ungoverned spaces.

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