Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests. With the help of satellite technology, GFW provides near real-time information about where in most importantly how forests are being altered around the globe. Global Forest Watch includes profiles of around 170 countries, small or big, with great or minor national forest implications such as Russia, Brazil and Fiji and Uruguay. Additional to satellite technology, GFW is operating with a multiplayer network approach. Stakeholders on the ground can evaluate field results and comment on data and access important information offline as well.
The Global Forest Watch was established in 1997 as part of the Forest Frontiers Initiative by the World Resource Institute. Initially, the GFW was a network of NGOs, with the intention to provide current reports on the state of forests in four pilot countries: Cameroon, Canada, Gabon and Indonesia. By 2002 already, these pilot countries were extended by Chile, Russia, Venezuela, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States and GFW planned to provide data on 21 countries by 2005. They continuously published reports on forest cover and on its state as well as on activities affecting forest conditions. In 2006, GFW together with Greenpeace was able to produce the first ever global map of remaining intact forest landscapes. In 2014, GFW had turned into a fully interactive online platform providing forest related data of countries all around the world. The WRI had launched GFW 2.0, based on huge technological advances and a significant increase in cooperation.