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Nelson postdoc coauthors paper that suggests satellite alerts may reduce deforestation in Africa

January 4, 2021

Research led by Fanny Moffette, a postdoctoral researcher in applied economics and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, gleans new insight into the efficacy of using the Global Land Analysis and Discovery system (GLAD) to reduce deforestation. Recently published in Nature Climate Change, the study found that African countries that subscribed to GLAD experienced an 18 percent drop in deforestation over the course of two years, providing evidence that the system could be an effective way to combat forest loss.

GLAD uses satellites to detect decreases in forest cover in the tropics, and then provides frequent, high-resolution alerts when it detects a drop. By subscribing to this service, governments and other organizations receive pertinent data on forest cover, which can then be used to inform interventions. The research suggests that by reducing deforestation, automated alert systems like GLAD could be an effective way to reduce global carbon emissions. Read more.

Using Global Forest Watch in Cameroon. Photo credit: Katherine Shea, WRI.