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World Resources Institute

Protecting Indigenous & Community Lands With LandMark

Blue Raster is pleased to work with the World Resources Institute (WRI) on a recent initiative to release new datasets and tools on LandMark– an online, global platform providing maps on Indigenous and Community Lands. The new analysis features and data focus on measuring the impacts Indigenous Peoples have on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Landmark Tree Cover Loss Analysis

LandMark Tree Cover Loss Analysis

According to a recent study, Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage at least 24% (54,546 MtC) of the total carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests, a sum greater than 250 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global air travel in 2015. Additionally, Indigenous Lands that are legally recognized experience rates of deforestation that are two to three times lower than non-tenure secure lands, according to Peter Veit, director of WRI’s Land and Resource Rights Initiative.

“The new data and analysis features on LandMark take the platform to a new level by not just showing the presence and legal situation of indigenous and community lands, but also their specific contributions to protecting the environment and the threats that they face from outside pressures such as deforestation, concessions, infrastructure development, and more.”

Katie Reytar, a research associate with WRI’s forest program.

Now, anyone can calculate the amount of tree cover loss in specific Indigenous and Community Lands on-the-fly, and learn more information including land cover composition and tree cover density. Additional datasets on the site include:

Landmark Custom Analysis

  • Intact Forest Landscape and Soil Organic Carbon
  • Pressures, including Mining and Oil Palm concessions, and Major dams
  • Land Cover & Change, including annual Tree cover loss and gain all available on a global scale at 30m x 30m resolution

To build the updated site, Blue Raster harnessed the power of ArcGIS Online, an entirely web-based mapping platform that allows organizational access to datasets. By leveraging ArcGIS Online, WRI can add, remove, or edit maps in a matter of minutes and publish their changes instantaneously.

Blue Raster also leveraged WRI’s Global Forest Watch MapBuilder application template to overhaul the design of the map. The map features an improved user-friendly navigation and analysis pane. The MapBuilder template allows anyone with an ArcGIS Online account to turn custom maps into interactive web applications. As part of the project, additional functionality was imported into the MapBuilder core, all of which is formally written in the documentation for anyone to add their own customizations to the template.

See LandMark’s new tools and datasets at www.landmarkmap.org.

Unlocking Data With WRI Open Data Portal

Blue Raster is excited to announce the release of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Open Data Portal. indonesia_archive_firesBuilt with the open source platform CKAN, the Portal provides a centralized, searchable catalog of all data provided by WRI.

Historically, WRI projects published data online to the WRI website. But their site contained data from only a fraction of their projects and none of their international offices. The new data portal provides for the first time a full catalog of WRI datasets, including those not previously publicly available or searchable. Internally, the Portal is also providing a more streamlined process for uploading and hosting data, so that it is simpler for WRI staff to get data online and properly documented.

 

As part of the project, Blue Raster built a custom workflow to pull existing WRI datasets from ArcGIS Online into the Portal, including items from Global Forest Watch’s (GFW) Open Data site. Through a harvesting process, the Portal fetches and imports records along with each item’s metadata and tags. This enables WRI projects using ArcGIS Online to continue their existing workflows for publishing and managing data. Any changes made to data items in ArcGIS Online are automatically reflected in the Portal, allowing for easy data and documentation management.

Global Forest Watch Open Data

Because enabling users to more easily find and download WRI.org content was also a key goal of the project, Blue Raster designed the Portal with a powerful search and discovery engine. The data portal supports dataset keyword searches, accompanied by tagging to allow further categorization, and the ability to discover related datasets and content.

Check out WRI’s Open Data Portal, and see how it is helping turn WRI’s data from information into action.

 

Global Fires Analyzed by Country

Produced in partnership with the World Resources Institute, the recently updated Global Forest Watch Fires (GFW Fires) is an online platform for monitoring and responding to forest and land fires using near-real-time information. GFW Fires empowers people to better respond to harmful fires before they burn out of control, holding accountable those who may have burned forests illegally.

With the most recent release of GFW Fires, users can explore fire events for every country around the world over the last five years — using two sensor products: VIIRS and MODIS. Fire history, cumulative fires to date, and a statistical analysis by administrative boundaries allow great insight into fire events within a country or around the world.

Fire Report for Tanzania

Be sure to check out your country of interest at GFW Fires, and see how technology is harnessed to address a major global concern.

 

Helping Secure Land Rights With LandMark

Blue Raster is proud to announce a major update to the LandMark interactive global mapping platform of community and indigenous lands. The original LandMark platform provided unprecedented information about the location of indigenous and community owned lands and the strength of legal protections available to these communities. The latest release builds upon that success by adding new functionality, upgrading back end processes to keep pace with latest technologies, and refreshing the design for an even better user experience. Working closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and a 13-member Steering Group, Blue Raster incorporated additional analysis capabilities, redesigned the map layout, added Python scripting to increase processing speeds, and integrated Amazon CloudFront to accelerate application performance.

LandMark Global Platform of Indigenous & Community Lands

We are very pleased to continue working with Blue Raster from the inception of LandMark in 2014 through this latest development phase. Their support has been instrumental in helping us towards our goal of becoming the go-to site for information on indigenous and community land rights globally.

— Katie Reytar, Senior Research Associate, WRI

The map’s new legend and navigation pane provide an intuitive and user-friendly way to explore indigenous & community land maps, country statistics, and legal security for these lands. The updated print function enables users to customize map views and export to a pdf, jpg, or png. Users can also generate location-specific reports by uploading shapefiles or drawing a polygon on the map. These reports include statistics on documentation, identity, and legal recognition of indigenous and community lands. Analysis is performed on the fly and the results can be exported for further study.

The ArcGIS JavaScript API, Highcharts, React JS, Python, and ES6 power the reports and mapping application. Be sure to visit the updated LandMark site today!

Peru Country Profile Page

New Paper Identifying Emerging Hot Spots of Deforestation

Blue Raster is proud to have worked with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Esri Big Data Team to co-author the study, Using Spatial Statistics to Identify Emerging Hot Spots of Forest Loss.

Published in Environmental Research Letters, the study lays out the data-analysis workflow Blue Raster developed to identify trends in tree-cover loss in Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 2000 and 2014. Using Esri’s emerging hot spot analysis and big data analysis techniques, Blue Raster identified persistent, accelerating, and new hot spots of tree-cover loss, as well as cold spots of diminishing loss. New forest policies such as logging moratoria and incentives were linked with reduced forest clearing, whereas timber harvesting, road-building, and agricultural land clearing were associated with hot spots.

Techniques identified in the study will help decision makers, technical experts and the broader public better understand trends in deforestation and improve forest monitoring going forward. While the article focuses on Brazil, Indonesia, and the DRC, the methodology can be scaled for larger or smaller regions, as well as for different windows in time.

Accompanying the paper, Blue Raster produced maps of intensifying, sporadic, and new hot spots of deforestation for each area of interest. The visuals indicate a broad range of trends including:

  • Shifting spatiotemporal patterns of loss in Brazil, with forest loss significantly diminishing within the Amazonian states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia and intensifying within the cerrado biome;
  • New and statistically significant hot spots of forest loss in 2013 and 2014 in West Kalimanta, Indonesia; and
  • The emergence of vast areas of DRC as significant new hot spots of forest loss, with intensified loss radiating out from city centers such as Beni and Kisangani.

The release of the article coincides with the World Economic Forum, an event where 20 of the world’s largest commodity producers, traders, manufacturers, consultants, and retailers launched a new partnership with research institutions and banks to monitor deforestation and manage sustainability from farm to customer. The partnership, led by WRI’s Global Forest Watch team, will focus on building an online global decision-support tool that builds on the GFW Commodities platform to increase transparency and traceability across supply chains.

Read the full publication by WRI, Blue Raster, and Esri online at IOP Science.


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