Satellites are an excellent tool for monitoring forests. Those who work in the areas of forest management, policy development, and environmental conservation are increasingly making use of these eyes in the sky to track logging, deforestation, and other forest disturbance events. However, it takes specialized tools to turn the green blur of raw satellite images into useful information.
Enter CLASlite, an automated system for converting satellite imagery from its raw format into detailed maps that can be searched for specific forest disturbance events. CLASlite is the brainchild of Arizona State Professor Greg Asner, and it aims to make deforestation and forest degradation monitoring accessible to everyone.
CLASlite is wide-ranging in its application. For example, it has been used to promote forest stewardship and predict the land-use change in the Amazon, to examine the effects of oil palm plantation development on land cover and carbon flux in Indonesian Borneo; and to determine the spatial drivers of deforestation in Suriname.
Recently, Asner spoke about his software with The Rising, a publication focused on climate solutions. You can read the interview here.