- The Norwegian government is providing World Resources Institute with 115 million kroner over the next three years to strengthen Global Forest Watch, a platform for monitoring the world's forests.
- The grant will support Global Forest Watch's tools that help monitor commodity supply chains, including those of companies that have adopted "zero deforestation" policies to eliminate forest conversion from food and fiber production and sourcing.
- The grant well exceeds the 68 million kroner Norway provided to help launch and expand Global Forest Watch between 2013-2015.
The Norwegian government is providing World Resources Institute (WRI) with 115 million kroner ($13.85 million) over the next three years to strengthen Global Forest Watch, a platform for monitoring the world’s forests.
Announced at the opening of the Oslo REDD Exchange — an event that brought together more than 500 people from 47 countries to discuss forest conservation — the grant will support Global Forest Watch’s tools that help monitor commodity supply chains, including those of companies that have adopted “zero deforestation” policies to eliminate forest conversion from food and fiber production and sourcing.
“Global Forest Watch is a groundbreaking tool for increased transparency around the state of the world’s forests. Information regarding where deforestation is happening is crucial if we are to halt tropical forest loss,” said Norwegian minister of climate and environment, Vidar Helgesen. “With the support we are announcing today, we will also contribute to the development of tools to monitor the effectiveness of private companies’ commitments to stop deforestation from happening in their business operations.
“Several large companies, including Unilever, Mondelēz, Cargill and Mars, have used Global Forest Watch technology to monitor their supply chains.”
The grant well exceeds the 68 million kroner Norway provided to help launch and expand Global Forest Watch between 2013-2015. During that time, Global Forest Watch emerged as the world’s preeminent source of data on forests, amassed more than half a million users, and grew to involve more than 70 partners. (Disclosure: Mongabay is a Global Forest Watch partner.)
Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, said Norway has played a critical role in helping make the platform a success.
“Today Norway is demonstrating once again its global leadership in protecting the world’s forests,” Steer said in a statement. “Norway has consistently made bold long term commitments, linked rigorously to results, with great effect. It was the first major donor to see the potential of Global Forest Watch in bringing radical transparency to land use change in real time. Today, GFW is being used by most national governments, and by tens of thousands of businesses, NGOs, community groups, journalists and researchers. It is changing the debate. Now the bad guys have nowhere to hide, and the good guys can be recognized and rewarded for their stewardship.”
Since its launch, WRI has launched spin-off products from Global Forest Watch, including tools to monitor fires in real-time, track emissions, map biodiversity, and investigate commodity supply chains, including where soy, timber, and other agricultural products are sourced. That latter initiative will be bolstered with the new support, potentially helping consumer-facing companies, commodity traders, and producers implement their forest commitments.
Disclosure: Mongabay receives funding from both WRI and the Norwegian government. Neither entity has any editorial influence over the stories Mongabay produces.