Why We Need Accurate Maps of the Worlds Forests

Mar 1, 2010 | RFF Staff

Why We Need Accurate Maps of the World’s Forests

Curbing deforestation and degradation of forests is emerging as one of the best short-term solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But accurate and comprehensive maps of forest resources will be required for tracking progress. 

In the Winter/Spring issue of Resources, Daniel Morris, Molly K. Macauley, and Roger A. Sedjo review the importance of this tool and barriers to making its use widespread.

Space-based technologies such as Landsat and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) hold promise for forest measurement but face budgetary and political constraints. Despite these challenges, projects like RFF’s Measurement and Monitoring of the World’s Forests and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) program are offering new frameworks for gathering and managing quality datasets. This information will provide policymakers and stakeholders with a clearer picture of forest resources. 

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