Loreto, Peru — A forest monitor from the Indigenous community of Vista Hermosa checks her smartphone. A satellite map showing the forest around her pops up. Her community’s territory is outlined and pink pixels—deforestation alerts—are visible within the boundaries. She and her fellow forest monitors react quickly, patrolling to the alert to confirm the deforestation. Finding the stumps and area cleared, they snap some photos and record their observations, and return to their community to relay the information and decide what to do next.
The premise of the study was simple — in order to effectively act against deforestation within their territories, Indigenous communities first must be able to quickly detect it. Satellites offered a solution. Orbiting and imaging the Earth constantly, they can show changes in forest cover between images on tiny scales. These images are used to […]
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