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10 Apr 2013: New Satellite-Based System Will
Track Illegal Deforestation in Real Time

A coalition of organizations has unveiled a digital tool its developers say will help governments, environmental groups, and local communities monitor illegal logging in the world’s forest regions in

A Revolutionary Technology is
Unlocking Secrets of the Forest

A Revolutionary Technology is Unlocking Secrets of the Forest
An imaging system that uses a suite of airborne sensors is capable of providing detailed, three-dimensional pictures of tropical forests at astonishing speed. These advances, Rhett Butler reports, could play a key role in preserving the world’s rainforests.
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close to real time. Using satellite technology, data sharing, and a global network of local contributors, the so-called Global Forest Watch 2.0 system will enable users to track forest loss that has occurred within the last 30 days and allow local forest managers to upload geo-referenced photographs to support data on deforestation. Developed by the World Resources Institute and other contributors — including Google, the University of Maryland, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) — the technology was unveiled this week during a UN forum on forests and will be available next month. WRI officials hope the system will allow government leaders and companies to make more timely forest management decisions. “For policy to be based on science and the facts, data and information must be widely and easily accessible,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “It must also be in formats usable for decision-making and in public domains.”

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