First Global Forest Protection Platform Opens Online

Logs cut illegally, Russia

Global Forest Watch, a new, free online monitoring and alert system for forest management, was launched Thursday by more than 40 organizations, including the World Resources Institute, Google and the UN Environment Programme.

The mapping application provides near-real time, reliable data about what is happening in forests worldwide, using the latest satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing information.

“From now on, the bad guys cannot hide and the good guys will be recognized for their stewardship,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute, WRI, during the launch event held at the Newseum in Washington.

In the years from 2000 through 2012, the world lost the equivalent of 50 soccer fields of forest every minute of every day for entire 12 years, a total of 2.3 million square kilometers (888,034 square miles), according to data from the University of Maryland and Google.

The countries that lost the greatest amounts of forest are: Russia, Brazil, Canada, United States and Indonesia.

Rebecca Moore, engineering manager, Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine, said Global Forest Watch is an ambitious vision, and yet it’s both timely and achievable given WRI’s knowledge of environmental science and policy, strong partnerships, and the high-performance Google cloud technology that we’re donating to this initiative.”

Cloud computing multiplies the speed at which data can be analyzed.

Global Forest Watch can support indigenous communities, who can upload alerts and photos when encroachment occurs on their lands; and nongovernmental organizations can identify deforestation hotspots and collect evidence to hold governments and companies accountable.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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