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Blog Posts: deforestation

  • New French Satellite Imagery to Help Forest Management in the Congo Basin

    The rainforests of Africa’s Congo Basin are the world’s second largest, and are increasingly one of the most threatened. Agriculture, mining, logging, and climate change are already chipping away and thinning out the forests’ edge and interior. The Congo Basin forests’ biggest threat, however, is unseen: a lack of good information. With poor infrastructure, government capacity challenges, and hard-to-detect patterns of change, the forests of the Congo Basin are among the most difficult in the world to monitor and manage.

    Starting this month, 1,500 high-resolution satellite images of the Congo Basin from the SPOT satellite constellation provided by Airbus Defence and Space are being shared with WRI, thanks to an agreement with French institutions of the Tropical Forest Spatial Observation program.

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  • Community Forests: An Undervalued Approach to Climate Change Mitigation

    Governments around the world legally recognize at least 513 million hectares of community forests, land held collectively by either rural populations or Indigenous Peoples. This area stores about 37 billion tonnes of carbon—29 times the annual carbon footprint of all the passenger vehicles in the world.

    Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change, a new report from WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative, shows that by protecting and expanding the amount of officially recognized community forests, national governments can meet their climate goals while also improving citizens’ livelihoods.

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  • High-Resolution Satellites Help Monitor and Respond to Fires in Southeast Asia

    Today, in Jakarta, WRI, DigitalGlobe, the Indonesian government, Google, Esri, and a host of other partners launched Global Forest Watch Fires, an online platform for monitoring and responding to forest and land fires in Southeast Asia.

    It features near real-time satellite images from DigitalGlobe, fire alerts from NASA, a text messaging alert system, mapping of burn scars from Google Earth Engine, wind direction and air quality data, land-use and concession maps, and much more.

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  • Q&A: Why Are Community Forests So Important?

    Governments, civil society, and donors are working to strengthen community forest rights in many countries.

    A new report by WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative, to be released on July 24th, shows governments can meet their climate change mitigation targets by protecting community forest rights.

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  • Tar Sands Threaten World’s Largest Boreal Forest

    According to data from Global Forest Watch, an online mapping platform that tracks deforestation in near-real time, industrial development and forest fires in Canada’s tar sands region has cleared or degraded 775,500 hectares (almost two million acres) of boreal forest since the year 2000. That’s an area more than six times the size of New York City. If the tar sands extraction boom continues, as many predict, we can expect forest loss to increase.

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  • New Study Shows Indonesia Losing Primary Forest at Unprecedented Rates

    New analysis published in Nature Climate Change shows that Indonesia is losing primary forest at a staggering rate. The country now has the highest rate of loss in tropical primary forests in the world, overtaking Brazil. Primary tropical forests are the most carbon- and biodiversity-rich type of forest ecosystem.

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  • 3 Myths and Facts about Forest and Landscape Restoration

    Reflecting on World Forest Week 2014, where the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN launched a Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism to help countries meet the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020, we need to further think about creating the rich landscapes that the world needs.

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  • New Palm Oil Production Maps Mark a Milestone in Transparency

    A new initiative from WRI and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) aims to shed light on how oil palm concessions affect forests.

    Global Forest Watch Commodities (GFW-Commodities) combines the RSPO’s maps of certified sustainable palm oil production sites with global forest data—information that can empower companies to manage their forests and supply chains more sustainably.

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  • 7 Unexpected Places for Forest Landscape Restoration

    There is a tremendous amount of underutilized and unproductive land throughout the world that has the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services if trees are returned to the landscape.

    In collaboration with the University of Maryland and IUCN, and as part of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, WRI recently updated its Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities. We found that more than 2 billion hectares of land worldwide have the potential to be restored—and many of them are located in some unexpected places.

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  • Restoration: It’s About More than Just the Trees

    Almost half of the world’s original forests have been cleared or degraded. So naturally, most people think of the “forest restoration” movement as an effort to re-plant these lost trees.

    But it’s time to see restoration as more than just the trees.

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