Close Up On Deforestation


In an attempt to improve environmental governance of Sumatra’s once-extensive tropical forests, a publicly accessible Web site showing detailed maps of widespread deforestation on the Indonesian island over the past few decades has just been launched. Scientists, government officials, and anyone else can log on to view the maps of the diminishing rainforest, which houses a diversity of tropical wildlife, including tigers, elephants, and orangutans.

The lack of free and easy access to reliable maps of Sumatran forests has limited Indonesia’s efforts to protect its natural heritage, according to David Gaveau, a landscape ecologist based at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, who designed the site. “Maps of tropical deforestation are generally not available outside of the scientific community and government agencies,” says Gaveau. “Well-informed public opinions oblige governments and corporations to take actions against illegal activities they may engage with, for example, illegal logging.”

The Web site uses Google Earth technology and satellite images to create interactive maps up to a scale of 1:150,000. (By: Claire Thomas)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s