Radar satellite exposes illegal logging in African rainforests

January 19, 2021

Forest elephants wander along the banks of the Congo River, watched over by mountain gorillas from the trees. For now, at least. Because the African rainforest is shrinking day by day as a result of illegal deforestation. WUR helps to stop that with its new alerting system, which shows exactly where trees are being logged.

Visitors to the RADD (RAdar for Detecting Deforestation) alert app might initially think they’re on Google Maps. But there’s one big difference. This is no ordinary map: it's an alerting system for deforestation. If you zoom into the southern part of the Central African Republic, around 50 km south-east of the town of Berbérati you’ll see red patches, some straight ones which are roads, and smaller patches around them.