Kenya launches mobile application to monitor forests to curb illegal loggingKenya on Friday launched a mobile application to monitor forests in order to curb illegal logging.Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Director Emilio Mugo said the smart phone application will enable users to report illegal activities in the forest.“We expect the app to compliment the efforts of law enforcement officers to conserve Kenya’s forests,” Mugo said during the 20-year celebrations of the Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG).The mobile system is a joint initiative of the KFWG and the University of Nairobi.Mugo said the app will reduce the cost of forest surveillance.“Kenya’s forests are spread across the country and we don’t have sufficient resources to monitor activities in all forests at real time,” he said.According to government data, forest covers seven percent of Kenya’s land mass. The director noted that Kenya has 142,000 hectares of plantation forest to supply wood to the timber industry.“We don’t allow logging in indigenous forest as they are used for conservation of watersheds and for use as wildlife habitats,” he said.KFS said the country has sufficient supply of wood to satisfy domestic requirements although Kenya imports small amounts from Tanzania, South Sudan and UgandaNational Coordinator of the KFWG Jackson Bambo said Kenya’s forests are under threat from human encroachment.“Expanding population has forced some communities to clear forests for agriculture activity,” Bambo said.He added that the mobile app will enable communities to report on forests activities to a centralized server.“The technology system is expected to enhance forests monitoring and reporting by various stakeholders for informed decision making,” he said.The system users are only required to have a smart phone to report any incidence in real time.The coordinator said the app will help to educate the millions of Kenyans who have smart phones but have little information on forests conservation.
Junior shooting guard Julian Jacobs was named to the top ten finalists list for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. The watch list, selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, narrows down the competition for the final award, which will be announced on April 8.Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Jerry West, the award recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. This is only the second year that the award has been given out by the Naismith Hall of Fame. Last year, it was given to former Ohio State University guard D’Angelo Russell.Averaging 12.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.2 rebounds, Jacobs has played an integral part in leading the Trojans to a 17-5 record. This season has been the best start since 1991. Jacobs isn’t just a scoring leader for the USC offense — he’s also an offensive leader throughout the entirety of the Pac-12. He leads the division in assists per game and ranks sixth in steals per game, with an average of 1.5.His dynamic energy on the offense has garnered 22 dunks this season, providing an explosiveness that the Trojans need in order to stay competitive throughout the rest of their season. Jacobs will be key in solidifying an already strong season for the Trojans.This honor ranks Jacobs right alongside national superstars from powerhouse programs, such as Buddy Hield from the University of Oklahoma and Grayson Allen from Duke University. The pair will provide stiff competition. Hield has averaged 26.2 points per game while leading his Oklahoma squad to take the number one spot and put up a staggering 46 points and seven assists in the team’s triple-overtime loss to the University of Kansas. Allen, meanwhile, averages 20.3 points and 3.7 assists despite a disappointing season for the recently unranked Blue Devils.The competition will be narrowed down to five finalists in March before the final announcement at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in April. The show is also in its second year and will take place at the Nokia Theater, where the Hall of Fame will also present the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.