AboutZoos, Since 2008


Dynamic new plat­form to pro­tect forests worldwide

pub­lished 21 Feb­ru­ary 2014 | mod­i­fied 25 Decem­ber 2014

The World Resources Insti­tute (WRI), Google, UNEP and a group of more than 40 part­ners on Thurs­day launched Global For­est Watch (GFW), a dynamic online for­est mon­i­tor­ing and alert sys­tem that empow­ers peo­ple every­where to bet­ter man­age forests. For the first time, Global For­est Watch unites the lat­est satel­lite tech­nol­ogy, open data, and crowd­sourc­ing to guar­an­tee access to timely and reli­able infor­ma­tion about forests.

Freycinet wineglass bay“Busi­nesses, gov­ern­ments and com­mu­ni­ties des­per­ately want bet­ter infor­ma­tion about forests. Now, they have it,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, Pres­i­dent and CEO, WRI. “Global For­est Watch is a near-​real time mon­i­tor­ing plat­form that will fun­da­men­tally change the way peo­ple and busi­nesses man­age forests. From now on, the bad guys can­not hide and the good guys will be recog­nised for their stewardship.”

From now on, the bad guys can­not hide and the good guys will be recog­nised for their stewardship

Accord­ing to data from the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land and Google, the world lost 2.3 mil­lion square kilo­me­ters (230 mil­lion hectares) of tree cover from 2000 to 2012 equiv­a­lent to 50 soc­cer fields of for­est lost every minute of every day for 12 years. The coun­tries with the high­est tree cover loss are: Rus­sia, Brazil, Canada, United States, and Indonesia.

Global For­est Watch — Mon­i­tor­ing Forests in Near Real Time, defor­esta­tion visualized:

(source: World Resources Insti­tute YouTube channel)

“Man­ag­ing the world’s for­est resources is today both a local and global under­tak­ing, and tech­nol­ogy has pro­vided Global For­est Watch with an unprece­dented oppor­tu­nity to con­nect not only infor­ma­tion and data but peo­ple, whether they be for­est man­agers, busi­nesses and pri­vate sec­tor, or con­sumers across the globe. This is a great exam­ple of a com­mu­nity com­ing together and pro­vid­ing the world with a truly ground­break­ing and pio­neer­ing prod­uct. Hope­fully in a few years’ time we will be able to mon­i­tor the impact and the results in terms of what actu­ally hap­pens on the ground that will be both a lit­mus test and I think the great­est affir­ma­tion that the time for this idea had come,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary-​General and UNEP Exec­u­tive Director.

“We are hon­oured to part­ner with WRI and power the Global For­est Watch plat­form with Google cloud tech­nol­ogy, mas­sive data and turbo-​powered sci­ence,” said Rebecca Moore, Engi­neer­ing Man­ager, Google Earth Out­reach and Earth Engine. “GFW is an ambi­tious vision, and yet it’s both timely and achiev­able given WRI’s knowl­edge of envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence and pol­icy, strong part­ner­ships, and the high-​performance Google cloud tech­nol­ogy that we’re donat­ing to this initiative.”

Global For­est Watch fea­tures:

High-​resolution: Annual tree cover loss and gain data for the entire globe at a res­o­lu­tion of 30 meters, avail­able for analy­sis and down­load.

Near-​real time: Monthly tree cover loss data for the humid trop­ics at a res­o­lu­tion of 500 meters.

Speed: Cloud com­put­ing, pro­vided by Google, mul­ti­ply­ing the speed at which data can be analysed.

The crowd: GFW unites high res­o­lu­tion infor­ma­tion from satel­lites with the power of crowd­sourc­ing.

Free and easy to use: GFW is free to all and no tech­ni­cal exper­tise is needed.

Alerts: When for­est loss alerts are detected, a net­work of part­ners and cit­i­zens around the world can mobilise to take action.

Ana­lyt­i­cal Tools: Lay­ers show­ing bound­aries of pro­tected areas world­wide; log­ging, min­ing, palm oil and other con­ces­sions; daily for­est fire alerts from NASA; agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties; and intact for­est land­scapes and bio­di­ver­sity hotspots.

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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