Countries considering open data policies have to guard against falsification and misuse, but there are clear ways to avoid these problems.
New research from WRI and others shows that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars.
Forests are more important to climate action than most people appreciate, argues Frances Seymour. They're a cheaper way to reduce emissions, and we already have the political frameworks in place to reduce deforestation.
A lucrative charcoal trade destroys forests, threatens endangered species and fuels the activities of armed militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To avoid further losses, enhanced monitoring and more efficient cookstoves could help.
New data on global tree cover loss shows that Brazil experienced a major spike in tree cover loss in 2016.
Frontlines work against deforestation doesn't always happen where there's good WiFi. So WRI developed a mobile app that works offline, bridging the gap between the eyes of satellites and enforcement by environmental defenders, forest rangers and civil society.
Armed with satellite-generated maps, indigenous peoples are successfully fending off unwanted destruction of their traditional forests.
Returning to WRI as a Distinguished Senior Fellow on forest and governance issues, Frances Seymour reflects on the impact of technology and international efforts to turn the tide on deforestation.
When Jakarta isn't submerged by floods, its residents experience incredible water stress. These twin problems—too much water and too little—are linked by a common solution: restoring the watershed's forests.
Computers are invaluable aides to tracking deforestation. But some issues require local expertise to crack—in this case, allowing WRI to map drylands forests that add up to an area equivalent to the Amazon rainforest.