Humanity is putting unprecedented pressure on the world’s finite land.

As the global population continues to grow, so does the demand for land-intensive commodities. By some estimates, the global footprint of agriculture will need to expand by an area twice the size of India to feed 10 billion people by 2050. At the same time, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C requires a halt on deforestation and restoration of another 600 million hectares of land.

We are facing a global “land squeeze,” which could threaten the world’s populations and prevent the us from achieving climate goals.

The project additional land to feed, fuel and shelter 10 billion people by 2050, is also needed to protect and restore forests and other natural ecosystems

How can we reconcile humanity’s competing land demands with the need to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and improve people’s lives? WRI believes that accurate monitoring and putting data in the right hands is central to tackling the global land squeeze.

We believe that if we are going to have any chance of meeting the world’s climate, biodiversity, equity, and development goals, we will need a more complete and detailed understanding of how we’re using the world’s finite land... Whether you work on restoration, avoided deforestation, wetland conservation, or sustainable agriculture—we are all shareholders in the world’s land. We need to step out of our silos and work together

Crystal Davis, Director, Land & Carbon Lab

Supported by the Bezos Earth Fund, Land & Carbon Lab is building a comprehensive system to monitor the world’s land and its nature-based carbon. This initiative provides decision-makers everywhere with the actionable information they need to address the global land squeeze.

Land & Carbon Lab is partnering with leading scientists and technologists to curate best-in-class geospatial data on land use, land use change and associated carbon stocks and flows. This work builds and expands on Global Forest Watch, which provides high-resolution monitoring of the world’s forests. The data will be freely available via Resource Watch and its API.

Land & Carbon Lab does not stop with monitoring. We’re partnering with decision-makers and the organizations that support them to transform this complex geospatial data into actionable information. We’re also partnering with diverse groups around the world to create impact around shared objectives, including:

  • Building stakeholder confidence in measuring, reporting and verification to unlock carbon markets and other finance for nature.
  • Designing cost-effective solutions to monitor, report and verify progress towards restoring degraded land.
  • Enabling companies and financiers to credibly quantify progress towards greening commodity markets.
  • Empowering Indigenous peoples and other local communities to secure their rights and protect their natural lands with access to monitoring data and technology.
  • Providing forest defenders across the globe with data and tools to rapidly respond to deforestation threats.
  • Strengthening land use policy and planning through best-in-class data, analysis and decision support tools.

We also offer insights to support better land management by underpinning carbon markets, empower local people to protect their land, inform land use planning, enable companies to implement net-zero commitments and alert rapid responders to fires and other threats before it’s too late.

Together, we can transform data into impact. If you are interested in collaborating or learning more please contact us.