Recent research has shown that indigenous communities living in tropical rainforests can estimate an region’s carbon stock as effectively as experts with their high-tech systems.

Local communities have been using sticks and ropes to measure the forest’s biomass, and have obtained the same results as modern satellites. It’s often advised with research to involve the people who live in the area and utilise local resources. This encourages the best results; with home residents they have a truly vested interest in the projects. In reality, the local citizens have not been involved in any research in this area before now, where scientists and researchers have taken over the projects entirely.

However, it has now become apparent that local people have more to offer than originally thought. In this instance, the methods used by local residents were far simpler and straightforward, yet they produced the same results as satellites in terms of accuracy and precision.

Gradually, researchers are realising the potential of including local residents and this carries over into the world of renewable energy. Local communities who can witness the benefits of renewable projects are likely to have a far greater interest in them. For example, community owned wind turbine projects receive less opposition than investor owned wind farms, because the local residents selling electricity to the grid can directly reap the financial benefits of the project as a community.

With this concept being realised across the globe, local residents should be given more say in research and climate based projects and will hopefully have the power to effectively help tackle climate change.