Global Forest Watch has a new look!

By Crystal Davis, Alyssa Barrett, and Sarah Alix Mann

Global Forest Watch is changing how people see forests. GFW launched nearly one year ago, captivating the world with interactive maps showing the startling disappearance of forests over time.  Now anyone with an internet connection can use GFW to monitor forests in near-real-time. But GFW is not just a forest monitoring platform. It is part of a growing global movement seeking transparency, innovation, and action to conserve and sustainably manage the world’s remaining forests.

GFW is constantly evolving to provide better data using more innovative technology. Over the past year, GFW has released nine new datasets and added 10 new features to the platform. We have heard from hundreds of Global Forest Watch users – including journalists, scientists, policy-makers, campaigners, and community organizers around the world.  With your feedback we are making GFW a more practical and powerful tool for our users.

A new look and feel

Global Forest Watch wants to help you find the information you need, as quickly as possible. As GFW’s offerings of data, tools, and user capabilities continued to grow, we needed to rethink the design and navigation of the GFW website. The newly redesigned GFW website is now easier to use and more action oriented. We have summarized some of the key upgrades below, and we encourage you to check out the new website for yourself and send us your feedback.

recentactivity

Find what you are looking for, faster

GFW offers a growing collection of data, analysis tools, and custom apps for a wide range of users. The new navigation bar will help you to find exactly what you are looking for quickly. The top menu bar is now organized by action. For example, we invite you to explore our interactive maps, download country data, or subscribe to alerts and updates. The menu bar also features “quick links” for frequently visited pages.

Don’t know what you are looking for? We can help with that too.

If you are not exactly sure how GFW can help you, we can guide you in the right direction. To begin, we recommend clicking “Suggestions for Getting Started” to explore your options. You can also use the new search bar to type a key word or phrase. If you just want to see what’s new and exciting, the GFW homepage will highlight all of the latest updates to the platform and posts from our users.

gettingstarted

Get more out of GFW’s data and tools

GFW offers a growing number of tools and apps for our more advanced users. Did you know that GFW allows you to calculate forest change statistics within a user defined area, subscribe to tree cover loss alerts, view and download data for a specific country, and more? GFW now provides new and improved How To materials to help users unlock the full potential of GFW’s data and tools. These materials provide step-by-step instructions and short tutorial videos.

Explore GFW Apps. Or build your own!

GFW apps are customized web tools created to meet the unique information needs of a specific audience. Last year, several new GFW apps were launched and more are underway. For example, the GFW Commodities app enables companies to monitor deforestation in supply chains of major commodities like palm oil. The GFW Fires app helps governments in Southeast Asia to rapidly respond to fires and haze. The forthcoming Forest Watcher app will allow local communities and forest rangers to access GFW alerts from their mobile phones.

The redesigned GFW website brings all of these apps together in the new GFW “app store”. If you have your own app idea, you can build it yourself using GFW’s open data, public API, and other developer tools. Then, share your app with the world!

appspagesample

Help us improve Global Forest Watch

A cutting-edge platform like Global Forest Watch requires continuous feedback and constant refinement to be useful and relevant.  These updates reflect real user insight and needs, extensive conversations and user testing, as well as foresight as to how forest monitoring technologies will continue to develop.

We invite you to join our growing community and help improve GFW by contributing feedback!  Feel free to contact us at gfw@wri.org or submit feedback through the website.

Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of January 12

GFW News Roundup: Forest stories from around the world that demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in improving management of forest landscapes

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week

Indonesia rolls back protection of carbon-rich peatlands. An Indonesian law that protects peatlands will be revised to allow for business-as-usual practices on the carbon-rich soils, according to the Environment and Forestry Ministry. Indonesian Law 71/2014, passed in October of 2014, requires a minimum water level in peatlands of 40 cm. Oil palm and timber industry groups criticized the law and claimed it would harm industry, while environmental groups claimed that the law did not go far enough in protecting peat soils. Companies will be allowed to continue business-as-usual operations on peat with water depth less than 40 cm under the revised rule. Read more about how drained peat soils contribute to fires and climate change at Eco-Business. (via Mongabay and the Jakarta Post)

Increases in food production can go hand-in-hand with decreases in deforestation. A new study found that food production increased while deforestation decreased in Matto Grosso, Brazil between 2001 and 2010, potentially demonstrating the value of policies that push agriculture into already-degraded land. Between 2001 and 2006, soy production accounted for about 10% of deforestation in the province. Yet between 2006 and 2010 only 2% of deforestation was attributed to expanded soy production, with 91% of the production increases occurring on degraded cattle pasture. (via Mongabay)

Continue reading

Apply Now for the Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund

Global Forest Watch and the World Resources Institute are excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Global Forest Watch Small Grant Fund. The fund is open to civil society organizations working to strengthen local forest management and conservation practices, conduct evidence-based advocacy and campaigning, and/or promote transparency in the forest sector. The submission deadline is March 1, 2015.

Learn more about the Small Grants Fund and apply now.

Founded shortly after the launch of the Global Forest Watch platform last year, the GFW Small Grants Fund provides financial and technical support for civil society organizations to apply GFW data and technology to their work. Selected organizations will be provided with a grant between $10,000 and $40,000 USD for a short-term project that turns Global Forest Watch information into action.

The Small Grants Fund seeks applications for projects that use or contribute to Global Forest Watch. Potential project concepts may include but are not limited to:

  1. Using GFW to monitor, assess, or map forest landscapes to support sustainable forest management, law enforcement, biodiversity conservation, land use planning, and/or recognition of the forest tenure rights of local communities;
  2. Using GFW to support evidence-based advocacy, campaigning, education, or training;
  3. Increasing forest transparency by (a) promoting disclosure of geospatial data by companies, governments or communities, by (b) aggregating and surfacing existing forest data, or by (c) developing new geospatial data for GFW*;
    *GFW supports SHP, GeoJSON, KML, SVG, and CSV files
  4. Using GFW for journalism or other evidence-based storytelling to support broad communication and raise awareness about a specific issue;
  5. Generating original, policy-relevant research or analysis to discern spatial or temporal trends in land use, forest change or drivers of deforestation;
  6. Supporting baseline setting or measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) for REDD+ projects;
  7. Building a customized app (web- or mobile-based tool) using GFW’s open source API;
  8. Using GFW to support legal investigations and/or court cases related to forest crimes.

Civil society organizations, as well as past applicants to the Small Grants Fund, are encouraged to apply for funding. Before applying, applicants should carefully read the Guidelines for Applicants. Applications are not accepted on a rolling basis. Following the submission deadline, the review committee will contact the top submissions for a phone or Skype interview. Winners will be announced by April 1.

Apply to the Small Grants Fund to receive funding for your project and join us in the movement to save forests.

Global Forest Watch News Roundup: Week of January 5

GFW News Roundup: Forest stories from around the world that demonstrate the power of spatial analysis and open data in improving management of forest landscapes.

To learn more about GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system, click here, or follow us on twitter at @globalforests.

Top Reads of the Week 

Forest clearance has immediate, direct effect on climate. A new report in Nature Climate Change ties forest clearance to immediate changes in climate, raising concern that rampant deforestation in the world’s remaining tropical forests could have wide-reaching ramifications for agriculture and water supply. These climatic effects, separate from those caused by the CO2 released from clearing trees, range from rainfall variability to temperature changes on a local, regional and global scale. The study predicts that if deforestation continues in the Amazon at its current rate, regional soy production could fall by 25% (via the Washington Post)

Mongabay’s year in review. The environmental news site breaks down the most important forest and wildlife stories from 2014. From the wave of zero-deforestation commitments that swept across the palm oil world, to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, to the murder of indigenous activists in Peru, this year has seen both progress and disappointment. Full disclosure: the launch of Global Forest Watch made the top ten. (via Mongabay)

Continue reading

Global Forest Watch Small Grants Fund Launching in Early January

By Jordan Faires

Global Forest Watch is excited to announce that the 2015 Small Grants Fund will begin accepting applications in early January from civil society organizations hoping to leverage technology to improve forest management. The application period will run through February, after which exceptional applicants will be awarded funding for projects that strengthen local forest management and conservation practices, conduct evidence-based advocacy and campaigning, or promote transparency in the forest sector.

Founded shortly after the launch of the Global Forest Watch platform last year, the GFW Small Grants Fund provides financial and technical support for civil society organizations to apply GFW data and technology to their work. Selected organizations will be provided with a grant between $10,000 and $40,000 USD for a project that turns Global Forest Watch information into action.

What does a successful project look like? Check out examples of work wrapping up from last year’s 2014 Small Grants Fund:

  • Mapping mangroves in Madagascar. This project mapped and validated mangrove deforestation in the Ambaro and Ambanja Bays of North Western Madagascar using GFW data. The results will be used to empower community-based management initiatives, and will provide an example of mangrove deforestation monitoring techniques that will be scalable to larger areas.
  • Improving media coverage of forests in Indonesia. An organization created media packages for six locations in Indonesia highlighting prominent environmental issues. These packages gathered data from GFW, interviews, and high quality video and images of difficult-to-reach forest and wildlife.
  • Assessing charcoal production in Cambodia. This project aimed to estimate the impacts of charcoal production on the forests of the Cardamom Mountains. Its objectives were to raise awareness among community members about the impacts of charcoal production and sustainable forest management, and to provide solutions to policy makers to sustain the lives of local forest-dependent communities.

And many more projects around the world…

SGF map

Locations of 2014 Small Grants Fund recipients

All civil society organizations with relevant projects, as well as past applicants to the Small Grants Fund, are encouraged to apply for funding. Before applying, applicants should carefully read the funding requirements and streams of work, which will be made available at launch.

We look forward to reviewing your application!