New Google Earth tool maps deforestation, threatened forests in Sumatra

mongabay.com
May 24, 2012



The new Sumatra map.The new Sumatra map. Click image to visit the interactive version of the map.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and a coalition of Indonesian environmental groups known as Eyes on the Forest have released a new Google Earth-based tool (maps.eyesontheforest.or.id)that maps forests, land use, carbon stocks, and biodiversity across the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The project is based on a database compiled by experts working on the ground in Sumatra. It aims to boost transparency around land use in Sumatra, which has lost roughly half of its forests since 1985 due to agricultural expansion, mining, pulp and paper development, and oil palm plantations. Forest loss in Sumatra has put a number of charismatic animal species 𔃐 elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans — at risk and released massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

“This project is a step forward for Eyes on the Forest as it is a powerful tool to open windows to the world about the devastating destruction happening to forests, particularly on Sumatra Island,” said Muslim Rasyid, Chairman of Jikalahari, a member of the Eyes on the Forest coalition. “We hope that Google will keep updating its satellite imagery library so the world can see the facts of the devastating destruction on Sumatra, who is doing it, and where those forest products end up. Furthermore, we can show this map to decision makers and urge them to protect the remaining natural forests of Sumatra.”

The new Sumatra map.Close-up on the map. Dark green shows 2009 forest cover, while light green reflects deforestation since 1985. Click image to visit the interactive version of the map.


“As a grant recipient, Eyes on the Forest can use the cloud-based Google Maps Engine platform to share its forest data with anyone,” said Tanya Birch, Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach. “Non-profit organizations can simply and easily create custom maps that help their data visually come to life by layering that information on top of Google Earth and Maps.”













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CITATION:
mongabay.com (May 24, 2012).

New Google Earth tool maps deforestation, threatened forests in Sumatra.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0524-eyes-on-the-forest-map.html