The growing availability of detailed near-real-time data plays a vital role in WRI’s work. It has allowed our Forests program to highlight in detail areas of the world where tree cover loss is occurring. But how exactly does this data allow those on the ground — NGOs, governments, journalists and researchers — help to prevent such losses?

This relationship between data and protection is critical for the work of Global Forest Watch. A recent study published on Nature Climate Change showed that the probability of deforestation decreased by 18% in regions of Central Africa where forests were actively monitored with near-real-time satellite data.

This podcast highlights actors working across Cameroon, demonstrating how the forest monitoring technology, data and programs that Global Forest Watch offers have helped empower people to protect the country’s forests — and the communities that depend on them.

Phanuella Djanteng, Project Manager, SAILD

“The trees to me are of uttermost importance by the services they provide: climate regulation, habitats for biodiversity. And they are also capital for rural life. Forests and trees are very, very important. Let’s say they are very critical for our livelihoods. It’s like life for me, with all the services they provide.”


Madeleine Ngeunga, Journalist, Cameroon

“I’d like people to be aware of the impacts of human activities on forest change. How will this forest change affect our lives? I think that if people — not just governments but normal citizens — if all those are really aware, they will be well involved in finding solutions to save our forest. And if we save our [forests] I think people will have a better life.”


Kevin Nfor, Technical Assistant, Central Africa Forest Initiative, WRI

“This GFW data is very useful, especially for [Cameroon’s] Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, because the data allows them to react promptly to illegal exploitation within the forest zone, to cut illegal logging within the forest zone. And it also helps them to plan and make field missions to monitor what is happening within the forest.”


Katherine Shea, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager, WRI

“If there is a livelihoods project that can provide an alternative livelihood, communities are less likely to cut down their trees. If there is a strong fine in place so that people know will be applied if they are caught cutting down trees, they are less likely to cut down trees. So we need good monitoring systems that can support that, we need policies on the ground from governments. And we need support to the communities on the ground that are trying to protect their forests but are also trying to advance and find good sources of income for themselves.”

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