Every month there are new academic papers, satellite images, and GIS-based data sets revealing the threats facing the world’s forest regions, from illegal logging and hunting in parts of Africa to the rampant expansion of agricultural lands across the Amazon.
Rarely, however, has the deluge of data been collected into one cohesive resource capturing the full scope of this global challenge.
A new project of the F&ES-based Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry
(GISF) aims to do just that. Launched this fall, the Global Forest Atlas
currently provides a glimpse of the state of forest resources in the Amazon and the Congo basin based on the latest research. Ultimately, its organizers hope it will become a sort of living almanac of forest resources worldwide for journalists and advocates, scientists and general readers.
“We’re trying to tell a story,” said Mary Tyrrell
, Executive Director of the GISF. “You’d have to plow through a lot of information to get to the essence of what’s happening in these places. We’re trying to simplify a really complicated topic without oversimplifying.”
“We envision the Atlas becoming an objective place where people can find out what is happening in the world’s forests. We’re not creating new data but we’re looking at everything out there and synthesizing it into a narrative about the pressures facing the world’s forests.”