Measures that are designed to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions from unsustainable land use practices require accurate information on existing and emerging threats to forest resources. Real-time data on forest degradation, loss and burning can contribute to better management of forest landscapes, lead to greater transparency in how forests are being use, and provide timely information for law enforcement at both local and national levels. These data can also serve as indicators for measuring ecosystem health over time.
CI’s real-time forest monitoring systems generate daily alerts, maps and reports used by national and sub-national government agencies, NGO’s, scientists, communities, and the media to understand, respond to, and report on threats to forest resources and associated ecosystem services. The Fire Alert System (http://firealerts.conservation.org) is a fully automated spatial analysis and alert delivery system that provides subscribers with a range of products tailored to their specific needs. Currently, over 1000 subscribers in Madagascar, Indonesia, Bolivia and Peru receive daily or weekly multilingual email notifications containing custom images, GIS shape files or GoogleEarth KML files of fires in protected areas, key biodiversity areas, indigenous areas, administrative units, timber concessions, and different forest and land cover types. The subscription website operates in English, Spanish, French and Indonesian, and provides on-line access to monthly reports and maps documenting historical fire and suspected illegal forestry activity for sub-national regions of each country. Version 3 of the system, now under development, will incorporate two new countries, and new areas of interest for existing countries (peatlands, REDD sites, and watersheds for provincial capitals) and monthly MODIS-based deforestation alerts for Indonesia.
The Fire Risk System (firerisk.conservation.org) is a satellite-driven model using empirical equations from the U.S. Forest Service's National Fire Danger Rating System. It generates daily index maps of fire risk based on the previous day's litter moisture content and the current day's air atmospheric conditions. Maps downloadable from the website include fire risk, fire risk confidence, daily rainfall sum, days since last rainfall, and Keetch-Byram drought index.
The Suspected Illegal logging Alert System (https://firealerts.conservation.org/fas/maps.do) provides subscribers with periodic email illegal logging and encroachment alerts for protected areas in Indonesia. High-resolution ASTER, Landsat and AVNIR multispectral data are used to survey sites on an on-going basis to detect suspected illegal activity within parks, such as illegal logging, encroachment and road construction. Standard email alerts in Bahasa Indonesia are distributed to relevant institutions and individuals responsible for a given park, and posted on the Fire Alert System web site for public download.