When you think about forest fires, you typically think about the threat they have on human life and property. However, these fires also threaten the biodiversity and health of forests, as well as things like water availability, water quality and pollination.
According to Conservation International (CI), the burning and clearing of tropical forests is currently responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But when the people are empowered with timely and accurate information on fires and deforestation, they have an opportunity to help halt deforestation and allow forests to regrow – which CI notes can provide 30% or more of the carbon storage and sequestration needed to limit warming from climate change to safe levels.
So how can they get this information into the hands of the right people?
In late 2015, CI selected Logi Analytics to help users track, monitor and analyze forest fires within its Firecast application. Firecast is an innovative early warning system that packages intelligence from NASA satellites in near real-time and delivers it to the people responsible for making the day-to-day conservation decisions, preventing the destructive effects of fires and deforestation.
CI had recognized that users were creating their own manual reports with the data to share broadly across their teams. By integrating Logi within Firecast, end users can quickly analyze and understand their own local monitoring system data, and quickly distribute those reports so immediate action can be taken.
Firecast users, which work for local governments and municipalities in countries like Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Madagascar and Indonesia, can drill down into visualizations to gain deeper insights into the spatial and temporal distribution of fire incidences. The fire information is continually updated so users can make immediate decisions to reallocate resources to address fires or fine land owners for violating policies.
When you think about it, data is really a universal language that can help everyone make smarter decisions. By putting data into context, local governments can better track ecosystem disturbances such as fires, fire risk conditions, deforestation, and protected area encroachment.