Opinion: Global Forest Watch Data On Canadian & US Forests

27 February 2014

By Roy L. Hays

There have been over 150,000 visits to the Global Forest Watch website (http://www.globalforestwatch.org/) since it went online last Thursday, and for good reason. The interactive map is an an online forest monitoring system, created by the World Resources Institute and more than 40 partners, that allows you to examine changes in the forest cover anywhere in the World. They drew upon many databases, including Google Maps , data from the University of Maryland and satellite imagery. Global Forest Watch has already shown that the World lost 2.3 million kilometres of tree covering between 2000 and 2012. My concerns were more specific, I wanted to know if the forests in Canada and the US are presently emitting, or storing, carbon.

“We don’t have that data yet,” said Forests Communication Officer James Anderson, who then proceeded to show me some of the data the site does have.

In one of the articles on his site, two parts of North America were identified among the World’s deforestation trouble-spots: the Southeast and my native British Columbia.

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