Forest Monitoring for Action

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Forest Monitoring for Action (FORMA) uses satellite data to generate regularly updated online maps and alerts of tropical forest clearing. David Wheeler, now a CGD senior fellow emeritus, assembled and led a small team that created FORMA, which has since become a core component of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Global Forest Monitoring (GFW) platform launched in February 2014.

FORMA is now available for visualization, analysis, and download at GFW, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. CGD continues to work closely with WRI on forest monitoring issues as part of our Forests for Climate and Development initiative.

Using current data accessed via GFW, FORMA can be used to support international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions by demonstrating to those willing to pay for forest conservation (for example, through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), bilateral programs such as Norway’s Forest and Climate Initiative or UN-REDD) that protected forests are indeed still standing. CGD has developed the Forest Conservation Performance Rating (fCPR) system as a set of benchmarks that showcase global progress in reducing forest clearing and that could form the basis for such payments.