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
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.”
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
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Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.