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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Smartphones and Satellite Imagery: Bringing Environmental Enforcement to the Peruvian Amazon

This article is part of a series of blog posts produced with the Rainforest Foundation US. The series covers a training initiative for more than 36 indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon to use Global Forest Watch’s satellite and monitoring technologies for combating deforestation. Read the previous post here. For the community monitors of Buen […]

Forests Falling Fast to Make Way for Mexican Avocado

In 2016, the expansion of agricultural frontiers accounted for 98 percent of deforestation in Mexico. While the booming production of avocado (often referred to as Mexico’s “green-gold”) has contributed to the country’s economic growth, it has also caused deforestation and degradation in central and southern Mexican forests. To continue this economic growth without further deforestation, […]

New Plantations Map Sheds Light on Complexities of Deforestation

Many of us think of forests as pristine wilderness, minimally disturbed by humans. But today’s forests are far more complex. New data available on Global Forest Watch (GFW) enables us to understand another dimension of modern forests — trees planted and managed by humans. Though far from pristine natural forests, planted trees play many critical […]

Latest articles

California Made Headlines, but 5 Other US States also Broke Wildfire Records in 2018

The western half of the United States spent much of last year on fire. While forest fires are a natural part of the ecology of the West, 2018 saw some of the most devastating fires in recent history as emergency management teams struggled to rein in blaze after blaze. The state of California suffered the […]

The Data Revolution Hasn't Yet Hit Agriculture

Big data surrounds us. Every minute, our smartphones collect billions of data points on our location, search histories and habits. Data has become one of the world’s most valuable commodities for companies. The $6-billion-dollar sale of the game Candy Crush was not so pricey because of the app itself, but because of the massive amounts of user data […]

Keeping an Eye on Cocoa: Satellite Monitoring Provides Key Support on No Deforestation Commitments

Ever wonder where the chocolate in your candy bar came from? With 70 percent of the world’s cocoa produced by Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, chances are your midnight snack started out as a seed pod growing on a cocoa farm in West Africa.   Chocolate is made by fermenting and drying the seeds of the cocoa pod. Photo by Caroline Winchester/WRI. West […]

Indonesia Reduces Deforestation, Norway to Pay Up

Indonesia was one of the few tropical nations to reduce its deforestation rates in 2017, and it’s paying off. Norway announced on February 16 that it will provide the first results-based payment to Indonesia as part of a REDD+ agreement the two nations established in 2010. REDD+, which stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is a framework […]

Embers Under the Earth: The Surprising World of Coal Seam Fires

The world is on fire, and not just from forest fires or volcanoes. Across the globe hundreds of fires burn low and slow on dirty fuel beneath the earth, smoldering for decades or even centuries. These fires are known as coal seam fires. They occur underground when a layer of coal in the earth’s crust is ignited. Due to […]

Using Maps, This Community Fought a logging Company and Won

The air is filled with the distinctive smell of burned wood in the tiny village of Sabue, tucked away in the crescent of the foothills of the Caucasus mountains. Misho Keinoshvili and his father chop wood for the wood burner to heat their house, while the sound of running water from the outside sink murmurs […]