Deforestation dropdown of 18% gets high appraisal in African countries after organizations signed a subscription to receive satellite run data and warning to forecast and reduce deforestation.
Reduction in deforestation cut the loss of money between $149 million and $696 million. The reason behind this is the lower carbon emission in the atmosphere in the tropical forest cover.
The Global Land Analysis and Discovery System (GLAD) came up with the research findings, available on the Global Forest Watch.
GLAD, launched in 2020, is capable of providing hi-res warnings once it detects a drop in forested areas. Governments and other organizations can subscribe to GLAD’s services to reduce deforestation
Fanny Moffatte, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jennifer Alix-Garcia from Oregon State University, and Amy Pickens at the University of Maryland conducted the research on deforestation in 22 tropical countries of South America, Africa, and Asia ranging from 2011 to 2018.
Mofette and her co-researchers wanted to find out whether these automated alerts are practicable in reducing tree loss. Change in land use like cutting down trees and making plain land is responsible for 6%-7% global carbon emission. Decreasing deforestation is much more efficient to lessen carbon discharge than increasing forestation.
“The first question was to look at whether there was any impact from having access to this free alert system. Then we were looking at the effect of users subscribing to this data to receive alerts for a specific area,” says Moffette.
Simply getting into coverage of GLAD did not do much of a help. Countries in Africa and its organization that subscribed saw a considerable decrease in deforestation. The findings make sense, adds Moffette. Access to information is good, but the commitment to utilizing that information effectively makes the difference.
However, countries in South America and Asia could not effectively decrease forest lost even after subscribing to receive warnings. There are multifaceted grounds for this continental difference.
“We think that we see an effect mainly in Africa due to two main reasons,” further says Moffette. “One is because GLAD added more to efforts in Africa than on other continents, within the sense that there was already some evidence of nations using monitoring systems in countries like Indonesia and Peru. And Colombia and Venezuela, which are an outsized a part of our sample, had significant political unrest during this era.”
The program is still at its initial marks. Subscriptions from more countries and organizations may influence the growth of the system.
Since its development by a team at the University of Maryland in part collaboration with Mofette, GLAD has undergone several modifications. With a high spatial resolution of approximately 900sqm, precise in magnitude than other available tools, the system is capable of providing alerts up to 8 days provided the sky is clear of cloud during the re-imaging of the provided section.
Custom monitoring is also available. Users receive weekly emails, available in six languages, with geographical coordinates of the monitored area.
The team is evaluating the new addition to the platform, such as forest restoration data while doing their primary work of supporting subscribers who are trying to see less deforestation.
Moffette says, “Now that we know subscribers of alerts can have an effect on deforestation, there are potential ways in which our work can improve the training they receive and support their efforts.”
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