Taking the Pulse of the World’s Forests with the Global Forest Review

Jan 26, 2021||3 minutes
Treetops of Dense Tropical Rainforest With Morning Fog Located N

Treetops of Dense Tropical Rainforest With Morning Fog Located Near The Malaysia-Kalimantan Border

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Getty Images/iStockphoto

Category
  • Insights
Topics
  • forest change

Today the World Resources Institute launched the Global Forest Review (GFR)—the first continually updated report on the state of the world’s forests. The GFR answers your most critical questions with the latest available data. How much forest is left in the world? Are the world’s forests re-growing? How much carbon do forests store? Which forests are important biodiversity hotspots? How far off are we from meeting global forest conservation targets? The GFR has a finger on the pulse of the world’s forests. Here’s what you need to know about this new resource:

Closing the gap between big data and useful knowledge

E.O. Wilson’s famous quote— “we are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom”— rings truer than ever these days. Innovations in remote sensing allow us to monitor our planet with unprecedented granularity. Global Forest Watch publishes an annual map of global tree cover loss at the beginning of each year with roughly 270 million data points— a total of 5 billion over the course of the last two decades of data collection. The ever-expanding volume of geospatial data can tell us more about forests than we’ve ever known before, but it’s not always clear what this all really means for the fate of forests. Drawing on expertise from World Resources Institute, the GFR adds contextual analyses and expert insights to the data available on GFW— offering a resource that’s accessible to policymakers, journalists, corporate leaders, activists and concerned citizens alike.

We created the GFR to close the gap between big data and useful knowledge by providing straightforward answers to frequently asked questions about the state of forests. We aspire to update these answers at a speed that matches the pace of the underlying earth observation data— either annually, quarterly, or even more frequently, depending on the dataset.

The Global Forest Review will be a go-to source for forest trends

global forest review

The GFR is not a traditional printed report, but rather a dynamic online resource reporting on the extent, condition, use and social and ecological values of the world’s forests. The GFR tracks trends across 18 forest indicators, and assesses our collective progress towards global sustainability goals, identifies countries with the best and worst track records, and provides frequent updates on tropical deforestation. Information in the report is updated as new data becomes available.

You need not read the GFR “cover to cover” like a traditional report to find the information you need. The GFR’s dynamic format allows you to explore the topics of most interest to you. Unlike traditional static reports— which may be updated every five years, if at all— the GFR will be the one-stop shop for forest updates for years to come.

Check out the Global Forest Review and tell us what you think

The GFR is a major undertaking, and we want it to remain useful and informative as the world’s forests change. Despite the ever-increasing quantity of data available, we are still working towards global consistency for certain key datasets. We expect to expand the GFR’s scope, enhance its precision and increase the update frequency over time. We want your help as we improve this new resource. Explore the GFR here and send your feedback to gfw@wri.org.

Category
  • Insights
Topics
  • forest change

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