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Global Forest Watch 2.0

Google, in partnership with the University of Maryland and the UN Environment Programme, has developed a tool to help prevent deforestation.

Global Forest Watch 2.0, which will launch later this year, is an interactive, real-time, forest monitoring system. It uses satellite technology, data sharing and human networks around the world to provide information to better managing forests.

The World Resources Institute’s Nigel Sizer, director of the global forests initiative, says real-time forest monitoring systems have helped countries’ enforcement efforts. In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, deforestation rates have dropped 80 percent since 2004, Sizer says. And Gabon is investing millions of dollars to improve access to satellite imagery and remote sensing for a new forest management program.

But, Sizer says, those responsible for forests in many countries still lack access to timely information on what is happening to their forests. Information is not up to date, it is expensive to gather, and the information-gathering process is very technical. This is a problem in both developing and developed countries, he says.
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