As our human population continues to grow, one of our vital resources—Earth’s forests—continues to decline. It’s estimated that about 36 football field’s worth of forests are lost every minute due to logging, clear cutting, climate change, and forest fires.
Despite a plethora of data on forest health, deforestation is still a topic that is unknown to many. With the launch of World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch (GFW) site, there is now a way to map the world’s forests and see changes in real time. The interactive map is made in collaboration with more than 40 partners and allows anyone with internet access to monitor our global forests and contribute to the site’s data.
Deforestation is one of the topics for the World of 7 Billion student video contest and the Global Forest Watch site is an excellent source for research. Additionally, here are a few of the site’s tools that are sure to be useful in the classroom!
1. Interactive Map: Allows users to see forest change throughout the world. The GIS map has additional parameters that users can observe (Land Cover, Land Use, Conservation, and People).
2. Country Profiles: Students can find specific information on every country—each profile details the statistics on tree cover loss as well as additional data all related to forest health.
3. Stories: To add to the collaborative nature of the site, the Stories section allows users to share a story from their personal experience or report on a situation that is currently occurring. Anyone can select their story location and enter text, photos, or video to the map content. If students are participating in the World of 7 Billion student video contest and include examples that are specific for their region—they can submit it as a story to Forest Watch!
4. Teacher Training Module: Are you a high school or college teacher and want to incorporate the GFW content into your classroom? The Teacher Training Module guides teachers through various methods on how to use the site both in and out of the classroom.
The Global Forest Watch is a growing resource and new components are constantly added to the site. We hope that it serves as a valuable resource for your classroom and for students participating in the World of 7 Billion video contest.