Just Released: New Online Tool Tracks Deforestation in ‘Near Real Time’

Deforestation Tracker "Highlighted in red, the new tool can show the scale of tree cover loss between 2000 and 2012" -- via BBC News
Providing solutions to rain forest deforestation is a central part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios. We're inspired to do our part in making illegal logging and mass deforestation a thing of the past, so needless to say, we're more than excited about this new tool that provides practically real time information on tree loss. Our furniture is never made from rain forest lumber, but we are looking forward to a day when other furniture (and various wood product companies) will join us in the mission for a more sustainable world.
According to BBC News, "Despite greater awareness around of the world of the impacts of deforestation, the scale of forest loss since 2000 has been significant - data from Google and the University of Maryland says the world lost 230 million hectares of trees between 2000 and 2012."

Staggering Statistics: "Forest campaigners say this is the equivalent of 50 football fields of trees being cut down, every minute of every day over the past 12 years."

As noted in the BBC article, one of the major problems regarding deforestation is the lack of accurate information. To take on this challenge of obtaining accurate and reliable information, " the US based World Resources Institute (WRI) has led the development of GFW, using half a billion high resolution images from Nasa's Landsat programme."
This program will make it harder for illegal loggers to continue clearcutting without accountability or consequences, as this new technology is "a near-real time monitoring platform that will fundamentally change the way people and businesses manage forests," said Dr Andrew Steer from WRI...From now on, the bad guys cannot hide and the good guys will be recognized for their stewardship."
Tracking widespread illegal logging across the globe might seem like an impossible task, but "the technology is said to be easy to use and will incorporate information showing protected areas, logging, mining and palm oil concessions and daily forest fire alerts from Nasa."
The tool will involve a global support system of concerned groups, citizens, and politicians. So "when tree losses are detected, alerts can be sent out to a network of partners and citizens around the world who can take action."

So what does this mean for the wood industry, and the consumers who support it?

According to Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, "As we strive to increase the visibility of where the ingredients for our products come from, the launch of Global Forest Watch - a fantastic, innovative tool - will provide the information we urgently need to make the right decisions."
For more info, check out the original BBC article.

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Kelsey Eaton

Kelsey is a Green Mountain College alumni, currently pursuing her Masters degree in Internet Marketing at Full Sail University. She is skilled in graphic design, social media, content creation, and photography! Friends might call her a marketing maven by day, and a tribal bellydancer by night!

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