You can't hide! Global Forest Watch tracks tree loss around the world in real-time

Global Forest Watch
Screen capture Global Forest Watch

50 football fields of trees being cut down, every minute of every day

As they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant. This doesn't just apply to corrupt politics; it also goes for corrupt environmental practices. Global Forest Watch is a new dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that "empowers people everywhere to better manage forests". It is backed by big names, including the World Resources Institute, Google, USAid, and UNEP, and many more. It provides almost real-time information about deforestation around the world. The map is interactive and can be zoomed-in to an impressive level (see below).

Global Forest Watch/Screen capture

Above is part of Brazil, for example.

Stopping and reversing deforestation is incredibly important. Between 2000 and 2012, the world lost 230 million hectares of forest, the equivalent of 50 football fields of trees being cut down, every minute of every day...

Global Forest Watch/Screen capture

"Global Forest Watch is a near-real time monitoring platform that will fundamentally change the way people and businesses manage forests," said Dr Andrew Steer from WRI told the BBC. "From now on, the bad guys cannot hide and the good guys will be recognized for their stewardship."

The blue dots on the map above show gains, so it's not all bad.

Global Forest Watch/Screen capture

There are all kinds of information layers that you can overlay over the map. For example, the one above shows protected areas and biodiversity hotspots. You can select overlays about things like forest cover changes (below is 'NASA active fires'), forest use info about logging, mining, palm oil, etc.

Such a tool can help businesses better source their supplies and ingredients, and it can help suppliers show that they are good stewards of the land. This is important because a lot of the time, businesses with good intentions have a hard time finding enough information about such things to make informed decisions.

Global Forest Watch/Screen capture

You can go to the map here: Global Forest Watch

See also: Scientists can now track whales from space!

Tags: Conservation | Forestry

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