US: The World Resources Institute (WRI), Google and a group of more than 40 partners have launched Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites the latest satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. “Global Forest Watch is a near-real time monitoring platform that will fundamentally change the way people and businesses manage forests. 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, WRI.
Global Forest Watch offers layers showing boundaries of protected areas worldwide, logging, mining, palm oil and other concessions, daily forest fire alerts from NASA, agricultural commodities and intact forest landscapes and biodiversity hotspots. It offers near-real time information like monthly tree cover loss data for the humid tropics at a resolution of 500m and cloud computing, provided by Google, multiplies the speed at which data can be analysed. GFW is free to all and no technical expertise is needed. “We are honored to partner with WRI and power the Global Forest Watch platform with Google cloud technology, massive data and turbo-powered science. GFW 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,” said Rebecca Moore, Engineering Manager, Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine.