Map of the Week: Using GLAD Alerts to monitor Intact Forest Landscapes in Peru
By Sofia Soto Reyes Peru ranks as one of the ten most biodiverse countries on the planet, with more than half of its territory made up of the Amazon Rainforest. The Ucayali region, named for the Ucayali River, which serves as the main mode of transport for Peru’s timber trade, flows through a part of the Peruvian Amazon that is designated as an Intact Forest Landscape (IFL). Global Forest Watch’s Intact Forest Landscapes layer displays the extent of world’s last remaining undisturbed forests, large enough to retain all native biodiversity, and showing no signs of alteration since 2013. The significance of these areas is evident in their very definition as they could alternatively be described as pristine. In the tropics, like the Ucayali region, many of the trees that make up these limited expanses are hundreds of years old and tens of meters tall.
The objective of creating the IFL layer was to establish a monitoring baseline that would track the degree of forest degradation occurring within Intact Forest Landscapes around the world. The feasibility of monitoring change in these areas is made even easier by using the IFL layer overlaid with GLAD Alerts, which were developed by University of Maryland’s Global Land Analysis and Discovery lab. The GLAD Alerts layer identifies areas of likely tree cover loss at 30-meter resolution on a weekly basis. Illustrated below is the development of what appears to be a new logging road branching off of the Ucayali River that cuts right through an IFL.
It is possible to change the date range of the GLAD alerts using the time adjuster at the bottom of the map. By doing this, we discovered that tree cover loss was significant enough to be picked up by the alerts starting in July 2015. Using the country-specific layers, we also learned that this road runs partially through a timber concession and partially through a Permanent Production Forest, both officially recognized by the Peruvian Government.
With increasing frequency, the existence of Intact Forest Landscapes is shrinking as human development continues to supersede forest conservation priorities. As such, the ability to easily and consistently monitor them is incredibly important. Users can do so by subscribing to GLAD Alerts for a particular region, like the Ucayali, or an entire country!
Map of the Week: Tracking Logging Roads in the Congo Basin
By Sofia Soto Reyes Western Lowland Gorilla (in captivity). Source: Heather Paul (Flickr). License available here. Located in western equatorial Africa is a vast expanse of green that blankets six Congo Basin countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo. Second only to the Amazon rainforest […]
Map of the Week: GLAD Alerts show recent loss in Brazil’s Jamanxim National Park
By Sofia Soto Reyes Parrot in the Amazon, Brazil. Source: Neil Palmer/CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR/Flickr). License available here. The Amazon Rainforest is home to one-tenth of all plant and animal species on the planet and produces one-fifth of all the oxygen we breathe. Monitoring and protecting such a rich natural resource […]
Map of the Week: Viewing Historic Fire Risk in Indonesia
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