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For those interested in the ongoing climate change debate, I urge you to look at the recently-released report (and the Roll Call op-ed) from the bipartisan Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests (full disclosure: I sat on this commission).
This issue is, of course, of pressing and immediate concern: as the report points out, “solving the climate crisis will be nearly impossible without efforts to stem tropical deforestation” since it is responsible for nearly 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire global transportation sector.
Any efforts to rigorously address the issue of tropical deforestation will of course require effective tracking and monitoring. This critical task has been helped along considerably by a remarkable new tool being developed by my CGD colleague David Wheeler and a small team of young researchers here at the Center. Their Forest Monitoring for Action system uses publicly available satellite data to track, monitor, and map deforestation.