NRD (Natural Resources Development S.A.), a Lichtenstein based company that specializes in sustainable forest management and its practices primarily in the African subcontinent. NRD needed to digitize all their sustainable forest management activities and struck a strategic partnership with Vanenburg software – A WaveMaker certified premier EU partner headquartered in the Netherlands. They are an independent software and services organization who deliver mobile apps and cloud solutions for both large and small enterprises
NRD is the chosen body in the EU that works with Liberia to curb illegal logging in the country. They developed a legal logging system to control, verify and license legal timber that is exported to the EU and other parts of the world. Additionally, they were responsible for preserving forests and enable sustainable forestry. As a part of this larger green agenda, they had invested in 440,000 hectares of land in Liberia and Brazil. Each hectare and each tree inside it are identified using unique barcodes determined by their GPS location, diameter, log time, height etc., such barcodes are centrally maintained by the department of forestry in a cloud-based portal from which 3-5 fully grown trees are selected for logging. Logging selection is based on considerations like best quality, CO2 neutral nature etc., This way logging choices are transparent, trackable and in compliance with all rules/regulations of the governing bodies. The technical challenge for Vanenburg software was to provide a solution that digitizes NRD’s sustainable forestry process which tracked their forest operations, financial management, logistics, and fleet management. The solution needed to be mobile for their officers on the field in the remote parts of Liberia tagging each tree and should support offline capability to later sync with a cloud-based portal. In addition, it needed to provide confirmation on the logging permits of the governing body to ensure chain
of custody and transparency in the process.
Vanenburg software used WaveMaker Rapid platform to build a mobile application for NRD.
Templates and themes
The HTML5 based UI themes and widgets, which WaveMaker offered out-of-the-box helped create an easy to use interface that could be operated by the field officers on any smart mobile device. WaveMaker platform enabled the app to use mobile device functions like GPS-location. This allowed easy tagging of trees and capture of data points like log time, diameter, height etc on offline tables built-in the application.
The mobile application had to work completely offline when the officers carry their smartphone to the field. The functionality stored captured data on the local device and later updated the same to a cloud-based platform when the network was available. Since this is a data-driven application, offline-online syncing had to happen seamlessly so that the right information is always available for its users. The whole syncing process was designed to operate with minimal network overheads, so that, even on a weak network, several thousands of data records can be transferred between the device and the cloud-based platform, quickly and with minimal latency.
The approval for the logging could be tracked on the application and could be seen in real time. Using the app, NRD can track, control and manage sustainable forest operations in real-time.