A semi-open database for plants and trees.

Inside a forest, plants and trees can communicate with each other - and even share resources - through mycorrhizal networks. Sadly, many of these networks have been disrupted or destroyed by our presence on this planet.


The dream of ForestBrain is to extend those mycorrhizal networks through the internet and through our social networks, so valuable information and resources can flow between forests again. We do this by collecting forest data and connecting various data sources together.

The goal: to preserve, propagate and protect vulnerable species and habitats, produce the things we rely on for our survival and prosper together with (and as part of) nature.

Bill Mollison - Cooperative forest ecosystem

How does it work?

ForestBrain is intended to be used by organizations. Organizations need to apply for a membership first. As a member, you can share or exchange existing data with ForestBrain, and enter new data directly.

Data providers have full control over what is public, and what is private.
Location data can be obfuscated, so the exact location is never exposed.
Private data can only be viewed by appointed ForestBrain administrators.
New members have to be unanimously accepted by existing members.
All members pledge that they will never use the data for monetary gain.
Membership is free.

Get involved

If you want to contribute to the propagation, preservation and protection of forests, you can become a member of ForestBrain.

Become a member

Icon Rooted in the Philippines Let's all fight to preserve its beauty and biodiversity!


Icon Open source software If you want to set up your own ForestBrain, you can!

Source code

Icon Still a little seedling If you want to help it grow, please register as a member!

Get involved

What kind of data?

The database is still young, but some examples of what's being collected already:

  • A list of Philippine Food Forests
  • A list of native Mother Trees in Mindanao
  • A list of collected seeds
  • Plants and design elements for permaculture projects

The data contains taxonomy, geo location, origins (seed or source), forest details, plant details and contact information.

Component Inputs Outputs Stage Zone
Hydro turbine Water pressure Electricity Incoming 1
Water tank Collected rainwater Water
Water pressure
Doing 1
Compost toilet Humanure
Compost Accepted 2
Compost pile Poop
Kitchen waste
Compost Done 2
Small hut Electricity
Collected rainwater
Kitchen waste
Doing 1
Duck pond Water
BSF larvae
Review 3
Goat Grass Poop
Incoming 3


ForestBrain data is also useful in permaculture projects. And the other way around: the permaculture principles make sense in ecosystem preservation and restoration projects too. So in addition to the regular forest data, there are a few options available for working with permaculture data.

You can add permaculture design components, their inputs and outputs, imported resources, existing site features and zoning information.

Data collection

There are a number of ways to collect data:

  • ForestBrain provides an interface for data entry
  • Data can be submitted through webforms
  • Data can be collected via ODK-based mobile apps
  • Data can be imported programmatically

Each method can be customized to fit the needs and workflow of your organization.

Tag that tree!

Upload an image made with your phone (or any camera with GPS) and we'll grab the location information from the image.

If you don't know this tree, or if you're not sure what it is... Don't worry. We'll tag it as 'needs ID', so other people can help us identify it. You'll receive an email when that happens!

For developers

The data is accessible through an open source CMS (MODX). There are building blocks available for displaying the data in the browser. Display options include a map viewgrid view and tables. These blocks can be used as a starting point for presenting your data online.

It's also possible to expose the data through an API, so you can use it in your web or mobile app through REST or GraphQL. This has not been thoroughly tested yet, so be prepared to be the guinea pig.


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Native American wisdom
The motivation behind ForestBrain