Website that monitors deforestation in near real-time launched

Monday, February 24, 2014


11-05-2012logging
Deforestation in Kenya.Photo: IRIN/Charles Akena
By Caleb Mutua


A website that allows you to report cases of deforestation and provides you with near real-time information on the rate at which trees are disappearing worldwide is now available for free.

World’s top environmental conservation bodies led by the World Resources Institute (WRI), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Google joined hands to launch the Global Forest Watch (GFW) as war on deforestation and poaching intensifies.

GFW is an innovative site capable of capturing near-real time tree cover loss data for the humid tropics at a resolution of 500 meters. Remarkably, it also combines the newest satellite technology, open data and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about.

Dr. Andrew Steer, the President and CEO of WRI urged businesses, governments and communities to utilize this the site in monitoring and protecting forests.

“Global Forest Watch is a near-real time monitoring platform that will fundamentally change the way people and businesses manage forests. From now on, the bad guys cannot hide and the good guys will be recognized for their stewardship,” said Dr. Steer during the ground-breaking ceremony held in Newseum, Washington D.C on 20th February, 2014.

United Nations under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the website provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect forest managers, businesses and private sector with information and data across the globe.

“This is a great example of a community coming together and providing the world with a truly groundbreaking and pioneering product. Hopefully in a few years’ time we will be able to monitor the impact and the results in terms of what actually happens on the ground that will be both a litmus test and I think the greatest affirmation that the time for this idea had come,” said Mr. Steiner.
Melia Project Principal Investigator and the Acting Dean, University of Nairobi, College of

Agriculture and Veterinary Services (CAVS) Prof. Kunuthia Ngugi applauded the site for making it possible for indigenous communities in East Africa and beyond to upload alerts and photos when encroachment occurs on their lands.

“GFW couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, especially now that more Kenyans can access the internet through their smartphones and computers. With this website running, it becomes easier for initiatives like Melia Project to mobilize other conservationists to act before it’s too late,” said Prof. Kinuthia.

The website (www.globalforestwatch.org) will also provide annual tree cover loss and gain data for the entire globe at a resolution of 30 meters, available for analysis and download all thanks to Google’s high-performance cloud computing technology that multiplies the speed at which data can be analyzed.

Uhuru: China will aid fight against poachers

Sunday, August 25, 2013


PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA | FILE A police officer catalogues illegal ivory ornaments and tusks seized from four Chinese nationals in Nairobi on January 29, 2013.



President Uhuru Kenyatta ended his week-long tour of China and got a commitment from the Asian giant to help tackle the problem of poaching.

Mr Kenyatta is expected back in the country at the end of what is easily his most high profile tour of his young presidency.


KWS admits war on poachers ‘tougher’

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
PHOTO | KWS Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) director William Kiprono.

PHOTO | KWS Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) director William Kiprono.  KWS


The war on poachers is becoming tougher as most of them have military training, the wildlife protection unit said on Monday.

Toxic waste container shipped back to UK

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Officials at Mitchell Cotts Freighters Ltd Mombasa accompanied by senior clerk Skyward International, a clearing agent Mr Charles Nyanyigo (right) opening the container that was shipped into the country from UK purported to be carrying plastic bottles but had west disposal in August 17, 2013. The container was Saturday shipped back to the UK. Photo/File/GEORGE KIKAMI. 


The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Saturday shipped the 40-foot container loaded with solid waste back to United Kingdom.

Ivory or horns? Real nature of goods disputed


A report by the National Museums of Kenya will determine the fate of a driver and conductor of a courier firm accused of transporting Sh5.1 million worth of ivory. Photo/FILE
A report by the National Museums of Kenya will determine the fate of a driver and conductor of a courier firm accused of transporting Sh5.1 million worth of ivory. Photo/FILE 

Tests are being carried out to establish whether goods found on a Kampala-Nairobi bus were ivory or cattle horns.

A report by the National Museums of Kenya will determine the fate of a driver and conductor of a courier firm accused of transporting Sh5.1 million worth of ivory.

Chinese woman nabbed at JKIA with 6.9kg of ivory worth Sh1.2

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
A Chinese woman was Wednesday night arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with 6.9 kilos of ivory disguised as macadamia nuts valued at Sh1.2 million.

MP and governor linked to poaching


PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU A KWS ranger arranges some of the 775 pieces of ivory tusks which were netted in a container by KRA officers at a private godown in Jomvu on July 3, 2013.
PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU A KWS ranger arranges some of the 775 pieces of ivory tusks which were netted in a container by KRA officers at a private godown in Jomvu on July 3, 2013. The ivory, worth Sh29 million, was in transit to Malaysia from Uganda.   NATION MEDIA GROUP


Two influential Coast businessmen, a central Kenya MP and a Rift Valley governor have been linked to the runaway poaching and ivory smuggling in the country.
 

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