New monitoring system pinpoints Kentucky's disappearing forests

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A new global monitoring system shows the majority of the deforestation in Kentucky is concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the state.

Global Forest Watch is an online forest monitoring and alert system that relies on satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to pinpoint the changing landscape. Global Forest Watch started in 1997 as an initiative to establish a global forest monitoring network around the world, convened by the World Resources Institute and partners.

"Businesses, governments and communities desperately want better information about forests. Now, they have it," said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO of WRI. "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."

According to data from the University of Maryland and Google, the world lost from 2000 to 2012 the quivalent to 50 soccer fields of forest every minute of every day for 12 years. The countries with the highest tree cover loss are Russia, Brazil, Canada, United States, and Indonesia.

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