Thursday, June 19, 2008

Deforestation data is avialable now on Google Earth

Google Earth is pretty cool. I have to admit I don't use it much, but when I do I enjoy it so much - navigating all over the world with my mouse. I can do it for hours.. And now you can not only navigate your way all over the planet with it, but also receive data on deforestation around the world.

Thanks to Treehugger, I learned about this important new feature created by David Tryse. He explains it on his website: "This KML shows deforestation data from a number of sources for different countries, including a live ticker for each country. The world has lost close to half of its forests already today, and the continued high pace of deforestation contributes greatly to climate change and the loss of biodiversity."

I tried it and it's really amazing. Very user-friendly and so informative. I tried to check for example Malawi, where we work with RIPPLE Africa to plant trees, and found out that "Malawi has lost 100% of it's original forests. None of its old forests today remain in an intact frontier-forest state. The total change in forest cover between 1990 and 2005 was -12.7% (-34.5% for primary forests, -15% for all natural forests)."

The problem with deforestation (like with so other environmental problems) is that we don't see it on daily basis, unless we live in an area suffering from it. And unfortunately, we care less about the things we don't see, or tend not to pay attention to them as we should have. I believe that the availability of this data on Google Earth can actually significantly increase the awareness to the problems of deforestation. And hopefully more awareness will be translated to more action and to less and less trees that are cut down. So thank you David for this important service!

So how do you install it? firstly, if you haven't downloaded yet Google Earth, go to and download it. If you did, just click here to download the file and you're all set!

Raz @ Eco-Libris