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New Radar Alerts Monitor Forests Through the Clouds

New radar alerts (RADD), have improved detection of deforestation for 31 countries and aid companies pursuing sustainable supply chains


Hutanwatch Spearheads Forest Data Transparency in Malaysia

It started off as a side project. Global Forest Watch (GFW) user, JD*, had a day job at the time — and still does — working with NGOs on forest and land use issues in Malaysia. JD was frustrated with the difficulty of finding reliable maps of forest cover for the country. Much of the […]

July 2016

Map of the Week: Viewing Historic Fire Risk in Indonesia

By Sofia Soto Reyes Last year, Indonesia’s fire season was one of the worst on record. As such, vigilance in monitoring weather conditions is crucial. This task has been made easier as GFW Fires recently released a Fire Risk map. Satellite-based data on temperature, humidity, and rainfall is used to estimate how wet or dry tree […]


Companies Can Now Spot Deforestation in their Palm Oil Supply Chains Before it Happens

By Sarah Lake and Octavia Payne Half of all packaged consumer goods contain palm oil. Photo by 1Flatworld (Flickr). Half of all packaged consumer goods from shampoo to donuts contain palm oil, but the ubiquitous product comes at a cost—widespread deforestation from plantations, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of all palm […]

Indonesia May07 Highlights 021

Destruction of Tropical Peat Is an Overlooked Source of Emissions

By Nancy Harris and Sarah Sargent Tersedia dalam Bahasa sini. Peat drainage canals, combined with fire, are used to make land more suitable for agriculture. Photo by Julius Lawalata, World Resources Institute (Flickr). Tropical regions face an emissions challenge from an important, but relatively little-known source: drained peatland. Peat soil, made up of partially decomposed, wet […]


We Can Save Tigers from Extinction, with a Little Help from Satellites

By Octavia Payne Tersedia dalam Bahasa sini. A male Sumatran tiger lying in the grass. Photo by Tambako The Jaguar (Flickr). Tigers are one of the most iconic yet one of the most endangered animals. Despite their popularity in books, films and religion, fewer than 3,500 remain in the wild today, due largely to agriculture, logging […]


When Tree Cover Loss is Really Forest Loss: New Plantation Maps Improve Forest Monitoring

By Mikaela Weisse The difference between forest and “tree cover” may be subtle, but it is important. Tree cover describes all trees and vegetation taller than 5m (the height at which they can be reliably detected by satellites) regardless of whether they’re part of a natural forest or have been planted by humans for agricultural […]


Forest Loss Pushes Far Beyond Plantation Boundaries in South America, Africa

By Rachael Petersen, Liz Goldman, Mikaela Weisse and Dmitry Aksenov Which of the world’s forests are natural, and which have been planted by humans? Orangutans at Camp Leakey, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by James Anderson for WRI (Flickr). It seems like a simple question, but researchers have been struggling to answer it for years. Satellites can’t […]


New GFW Maps Show Vast Logging, Oil Palm and Plantation Concessions in Sarawak

By Rachael Petersen, Samantha Gibbes and Mikaela Weisse Sarawak, a Malaysian state on the historically richly forested island of Borneo suffers from high rates of deforestation, but understanding this dynamic is made difficult by government secrecy and lack of transparency. Official maps of logging, oil palm and wood fiber concessions for Sarawak are hard to come by; the government does not […]