Website provides hi-tech window on deforestation

A new website offering unprecedented high-resolution snapshots of deforestation on a monthly and even semimonthly basis around the world promises to transform forest management, according to experts. The new online system, launched Feb. 20 in Washington, D.C. and known as Global Forest Watch (GFW), uses the cloud computing power of the Google Earth Engine and new algorithms developed at the University of Maryland to analyze hundreds of thousands of NASA satellite images of forest cover in a matter of hours. Available to the public for free, the website will empower governments, environmental organizations, businesses and indigenous rights activists to pinpoint where deforestation is occurring and take action before threatened ecosystems are lost, the experts say. It is a revolutionary system according to Duncan Pollard, an associate vice president at Nestlé. Nestlé and several other multinationals have pledged to eliminate deforestation in their supply chains of such basic commodities as... [Log in to read more]

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