Global Forest Watch Blog

Stay atop the latest forest research and news! The Global Forest Watch blog uses data to illuminate the state of forests worldwide and tells the stories of people dedicated to protecting them. Read about rainforests, deforestation, fires, sustainable agriculture, forest management and other topics critical to the future of forests.

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Commodity Driven Tree Cover Loss in Congo May Be 10 Times Higher Than Previous Estimates

When forest degradation and destruction meet local communities who are simply feeding themselves or making their livelihoods, the case for forest preservation gets complicated. In Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the Congo Basin, this pattern of clearing and regrowth for subsistence — dubbed shifting cultivation — is thought to have driven the majority of recent, extensive tree […]

How Rainforests are Formed, and How They are Being Destroyed

Tropical rainforests are one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. These hot and humid forests harbor millions of species—10 percent of the world’s known species can be found in the Amazon alone—which together form a unique structure that rises in stories from the forest floor to the tops of the tallest trees. Each of these […]

Detecting "Hot Spots" Along Frontiers of Forest Loss

Plagued by illegal gold mining, Venezuela’s Yapacana National park— an area dedicated to protecting the country’s primary forests— became a hot spot of forest loss in 2018. In an age of climate destabilization and the largest mass extinction in 66 million years, primary forests like Yapacana are strongholds of carbon storage and species habitat and […]

Latest articles

Agriculture Drove Recent Record-Breaking Tree Cover Loss

Global tree cover loss reached record highs in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, roughly one soccer field of tree cover was lost every second. What drove this loss? Global data on the drivers of tree cover loss, developed by WRI and The Sustainability Consortium and updated this week on Global Forest Watch, can tell us. […]

Intense Boreal Forest Fires a Climate Concern

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire sparked in the province of Alberta, Canada on May 12, 2019. Over the next three months, the blaze burned across 280,000 hectares, forcing more than 10,000 people to evacuate their homes. On the Global Forest Watch(GFW) Fires platform, bright red fire alerts were visible blossoming out across the landscape. Chuckegg Creek […]

Will Mexico’s Growing Avocado Industry Harm Its Forests?

As the avocado industry continues to grow in Mexico, particularly in Michoacán and Jalisco, deforestation, water stress and social challenges compound. Demand for avocados has exploded in the last decade, and Mexican production of “green-gold” has expanded to meet it. National production has grown 8% annually since 2009; the country produced 2.2 million tons of […]

4 Species That Went Extinct This Century Because of Forest Loss

Scientists have a better understanding of the number of stars and galaxies in the universe than the number of species currently on earth. A little more than 1.7 million species have been described by science and estimates of the total number of species on earth vary wildly between 3 and 100 million. Yet each year this staggering amount of diversity takes a hit.  Research suggests that Earth is currently experiencing its sixth mass extinction. (The last extinction took out the dinosaurs 66 million […]

4 Things to Know About Australia’s Wildfires and Their Impacts on Forests

Australia’s bush fires are the worst in the country’s recorded history. Already, millions of acres have burned, creating dangerous levels of air pollution, displacing nearly 90,000 people and killing a billion animals. Global Forest Watch Fires sheds light on what’s happening in Australia and the impacts fires could have: 1) Australia’s fires are seriously unprecedented. The number of fire alerts in […]

10 Big Changes for Forests Over the Last Decade

The last decade was pivotal for the world’s forests. The 2010s saw the rise of unprecedented new commitments — from governments and the private sector alike — to bring deforestation to heel. The UN REDD+ framework, the New York Declaration on Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals set out ambitious targets to conserve and restore millions […]