These African Nations Used Satellite Monitoring to Cut Deforestation by 18 Percent

These African Nations Used Satellite Monitoring to Cut Deforestation by 18 Percent

As part of a University of Wisconsin-Madison project, these African countries have used satellite monitoring to cut deforestation by 18%.

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Deforestation dropped by 18 percent in two years in African countries where organizations subscribed to receive warnings from a new service using satellites to detect decreases in forest cover in the tropics.

The carbon emissions avoided by reducing deforestation were worth between $149 million and $696 million, based on the ability of lower emissions to reduce the detrimental economic consequences of climate change.

Those findings come from new research into the effect of GLAD, the Global Land Analysis and Discovery system, available on the free and interactive interface Global Forest Watch.

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Launched in 2016, GLAD provides frequent, high-resolution alerts when it detects a drop in forest cover. Governments and others interested in halting deforestation can subscribe to the alerts on Global Forest Watch and then intervene to limit forest loss.

The research was led by Fanny Moffette, a postdoctoral researcher in applied economics in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Moffette collaborated with Jennifer Alix-Garcia at Oregon State University, Katherine Shea at the World Resources Institute, and Amy Pickens at the University of Maryland.

They studied deforestation in 22 tropical countries across South America, Africa, and Asia from 2011 to 2018.

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