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20 Feb 2014: Global Forest Watch Tool
Allows 'Near-Real Time' Forest Monitoring

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Sumatra forest loss since 2000

Forest loss in Sumatra
A new online tool called Global Forest Watch employs a trove of high-resolution NASA satellite imagery and large amounts of computing power to help governments, conservation organizations, and concerned citizens monitor deforestation in "near-real time." Organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Global Forest Watch uses satellite data to track changes in forest cover since 2000. It's the first tool with the capability of monitoring forests on a monthly basis, potentially allowing groups to take action against deforestation while it's in progress. Businesses committed to eliminating deforestation from supply chains can also use the tool to verify that vendors are not engaging in practices that harm forests. A custom alert feature can also notify a user when there are signs of deforestation in a region the user has selected. "Businesses, governments and communities desperately want better information about forests," said WRI president Andrew Steer. "Now, they have it."


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