Deforestation is one of the greatest threats to nature. It is a huge challenge for us as WWF to combat this. But if we can predict where the forest will be cut down illegally, we can intervene in time. Or even prevent deforestation before it actually happens.
A variety of existing technical programmes and models is being used to combat deforestation. These systems usually give a warning after the chainsaw has already started. Unfortunately, that is too late. WWF is working on a model that can predict illegal deforestation before the trees are being felled.
Intervene before deforestation
This new model is called an Early Warning System (EWS). It is able to connect big data such as satellite images with human activity. For example, if a road is being constructed somewhere, chances are that it turns out to be an access road for devices that cut down trees. Or the seasonal change from rainy to dry can cause increased access to the forests. This often results in a piece of forest going down. At such events, the system gives a notification to all relevant stakeholders, allowing them to take timely action in preventing deforestation.