Global Forest Watch: Fighting Deforestation with Satellites, Open Data, and Crowdsourcing
Satellites, open data, crowdsourcing – these are some of the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry right now. But these innovations aren’t just limited to Silicon Valley and start-ups – they have come to dominate much of our everyday lives. Each time we open apps like Yelp and Foursquare to find the closest Starbucks or the best rated restaurant, we rely on these technologies. Now the World Resources Institute has taken these same tools and applied them to create a new and exciting platform to help people everywhere track the health of the world’s forests. The platform launched this week and it is called Global Forest Watch.
The UK is excited about tools like GFW because tackling deforestation is a huge priority. Thanks to new research we know that the world’s forests are under serious threat. Fifty soccer fields’ worth of forests are lost every minute of every day. That’s a real source of concern when deforestation accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second-largest source after electricity generation. But deforestation isn’t just an environmental problem – it also affects poor people in developing countries.