Map of the Week: Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, struck the Leyte islands in early November 2013. Recorded as the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon in modern history, Haiyan left 6,300 fatalities in its wake and another 11 million affected.

Haiyan_2013_trackPath of Typhoon Haiyan. Red dots indicate Category 5 classification (winds ≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h) as the storm hits the Leyte islands. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons.

The 2013 Tree Cover Loss data update on Global Forest Watch clearly shows the environmental impact of the destruction.

Haiyan DefaultClick here to view on interactive map.

The zoomed in map below shows a satellite view of the area of tree cover most affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Click here to view on full-sized interactive map.

BANNER PHOTO: Doppler photo of Typhoon Haiyan. Wikimedia Commons.

GFW User Profile: Ashlan Bonnell

GFW User Ashlan Bonnell

Writer and Editor at

AshlanheadshotWhat organization do you work with?

I work for, a business intelligence solutions provider. I am currently the Managing Editor for our corporate blog. I also handle marketing materials and campaign management.

How did you become interested in forests?

I have always cared about the environment and am self-educated in conservation issues. Before my current job, I worked for a wildlife trafficking and conservation organization, and I hope to someday move my career back in that direction. The more experience I get, the more I learn that everything in the environmental space is connected. Different groups and organizations may focus on different aspects like biodiversity, water, emissions, or forests, but at the end of the day their efforts are collectively working toward a common goal of saving our planet.

I have an overwhelming desire to be part of that movement; to help make a difference.

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Extending Indonesia’s Forest Moratorium Is a Win for Business

By Fred Stolle and Octavia Payne

This article originally appeared on Insights.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo reaffirmed his commitment to climate leadership this week by renewing Indonesia’s national forest moratorium, which prohibits new licenses to clear key forest areas. While the environmental benefits are well-recognized, the move should also be hailed as a win for businesses and local producers.

12183672015_39e78f8da8_kThanks to its large swaths of land, tropical climate, abundant labor and proximity to major markets, Indonesia is well-placed to cash in on the growing global demand for commodities like palm oil, timber, sugar, rice, pulp and paper. The potential profits from these products are sometimes seen as conflicting with efforts like the forest moratorium. But research and experience show that the policy may actually boost current and future economic prosperity.

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Protecting Indonesia’s forests is a key issue for Paris climate talks

By Nirarta “Koni” Samadhi and Nigel Sizer

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to talk about Indonesia.

While it may not be the country with the highest emissions from energy or industry, what Indonesia does have is forests, and lots of them. Many of the country’s more than 13,000 islands are blanketed by vast green jungles that absorb carbon and store it in trees and soils.

Oil palm seedling in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. PHOTO: Yayan Indriatmoko for CIFOR (Flickr)

But Indonesia, like many fast-developing countries, is subject to widespread deforestation, releasing carbon pollution back into the atmosphere. Deforestation and land use change drives about 80% of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions, which according to some estimates makes it the world’s fifth biggest emitter.

This year, Indonesia’s leaders have the opportunity to limit these emissions by protecting some of its vast forests under its national “forest moratorium.”

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