Original forest extent
Current forest cover
Remaining frontier forest

Frontier forests are the world's remaining large intact natural forest ecosystems - undisturbed and large enough to maintain all of their biodiversity.

Map Source: D. Bryant, et al., The Last Frontier Forests: Ecosystems and Economies on the Edge. (World Resources Institute: Washington, DC, 1997).




Search & download GFW GIS Data

Use our Data Explorer to perform keyword or map-based searches for downloadable GIS data.



Congo Basin Workshop: Forest taxes and their contribution to development

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 14-15, 2007  - Organized by WRI, WWF and COMIFAC, the sub-regional workshop held in Kinshasa, analyzed the current management systems and distribution of forest area tax revenues in the sub-region and their contribution to the socio-economic development of the people in the Congo Basin. The main objective of the workshop was to identify the principal strengths, weaknesses and lessons learned needed to support the formulation and implementation of forest tax revenue monitoring systems. By identifying this information, improvements can be made to forest governance systems in the Congo Basin. The workshop was success in motivating actors within Central Africa to work towards improving their forest tax revenues systems.

Workshop results summary in English .
List of participants in French
Workshop Terms of Reference in French

Political Power Mobilized Against Illegal Logging at the G8Globe International

Berlin, Germany, June 3-4, 2007 - The first Legislators Forum of the G8 Illegal Logging Dialogue convened in conjunction with the G8 meeting in Berlin to discuss policy initiatives on legislation, procurement, transparency and financing to tackle illegal logging. Hosted by GLOBE International (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment), the Dialogue featured attendance by UK PM Tony Blair, Barry Gardiner, UK Minister and GLOBE co-chair, Ministers from Malaysia and Cameroon, and other government and private sector representatives. WRI, policy advisor for the Dialogue, presented the results of a scoping study for a Forest Transparency Initiative.

Forest Transparency Initiative Concept Paper
See also GLOBE International Illegal Logging Dialogue


Kickoff meeting held for Illegal Logging Risk Mapping in Russia

Russia, April 19, 2007 - WRI has partnered with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and a regional environmental NGO, SPOK, to convene a multi-stakeholder partnership to map areas at risk for poor and illegal practices. Beginning in the Republic of Karelia, in northern European Russia, the partnership has set

out to initiate a process that aims to help forest industry and investors manage risk all across Russia and l

everage market incentives for improvement of forestry practices. 


Ministerial Roundtable Discusses Illegal Logging   Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Paris, France, January 8-9, 2007 - The OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development brought together  13 ministers (including Indonesia, Japan, Ghana) along with other stakeholders to discuss ways to strengthen international efforts to stop illegal actions in the forestry sector. Fred Stolle, GFW Southeast Asia project manager presented GFW's work in Indonesia. Meeting agenda and reports available here.

Comprehensive Maps Provide Key Tools to Manage Northern Forest Frontier

Cambridge, UK, Tuesday, September 12, 2006 – Leaders of government, business and environment groups now have the most advanced set of tools available to manage the world’s final frontier of untouched northern forests with today’s release of new map-based tools detailing forests in Alaska, Canada, and Russia. Read the full press release.

GFW and its partners released three new map-based reports at the annual conference of the Taiga Rescue Network titled “The Global Importance of the Boreal Forest: Migratory Birds and the Paper Industry.”

Click on the thumbnails below to get to the maps & reports:

Mapping Undisturbed Landscapes in Alaska Canada’s Large Intact Forest Landscapes and Canada’s Forest Landscape Fragments Mapping High Conservation Value Forests of Primorsky Kray, Russian Far East

Gabon to Create Forest Resource Database

Libreville, Gabon, July 5, 2006 - In a bold move to improve forest management, the Gabonese Ministry of Forest Economy, Water, Fishery, and National Parks has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with WRI for the creation of a forest resource database and atlas, and dissemination of all collected information. This new partnership demonstrates a significant attempt to curtail further forest degradation in Central Africa by incorporating on-the-ground knowledge with systematic satellite technology, to provide an accurate base of forest information. Read more...

Convention de Collaboration entre MEFEPPN et WRI (français)
Memorandum of Understanding between MEFEPPN and WRI (English)

GFW Mapping Manager Named GIS Hero

Redlands, California, July 21, 2006 - Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) recognized GFW's GIS Manager, Susan Minnemeyer, as a GIS Hero in ArcNews magazine. According to ESRI, GIS Heroes are unique individuals who have been selected for their innovations or special achievements in a particular field. Since joining WRI in 1999, Minnemeyer has coordinated and worked on GIS projects that have served to promote the protection and conservation of forests around the planet.  See the full story

Human Pressure on the Brazilian Amazon Forests

Curitiba, Brazil, March 20, 2006 - In partnership with Imazon, the World Resources Institute/Global Forest Watch released the report Human Pressure on the Brazilian Amazon Forests. The first of its kind, the report provides a starting point for tracking the speed at which human pressure is spreading in the Brazilian Amazon.

Get More!
See the full press release.
Overview of Findings and Maps (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Executive Summary (PDF, .6 MB)
Full Report, English Version (PDF, 4.1 MB)
Make your own map on our interactive map server!

"What these incomparable set of maps, and the accompanying report show, however, is that while there is more than sufficient unspoiled area in the Amazon to meet our preservation goals, we must be vigilant to the pressure on the Basin that radiates out from settlements, and, as importantly, the impact of isolated development that disrupts intact ecosystems and does damage in ways we have yet to fully understand. These maps paint a stark and compelling picture."
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President of Brazil

Read former President Cardoso's remarks in the report Foreword.

Key findings:

  • In 2002, about 47% of the Brazilian Amazon was under some type of human pressure. Recent estimates comparing this figure with new data from 2005 show that human pressure has increased by 7%.
  • In 2002 there remained enough forest area without evidence of human pressure to fulfill the government's goal to expand the protected areas system.
  • About 80% of the total area deforested is located within 20 km of a legally permitted road. This points to a need for more accurate assessments of the potential environmental impacts of transportation corridors.

New Push for Sustainable Forestry in Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia, October 5, 2005 - Over 30 leaders of the Russian forest sector met to form a Forest Information Forum. The meeting was a side event to the 7th Forest Industry Forum and was hosted by the Northwestern Forest Inventory and Planning Authority (Sevzaplesproekt) at the invitation of WRI.

The participants agreed that gaps in forest information and transparency are an obstacle to legal and sustainable forest management in Russia and agreed to form a Forest Information Forum to deal with these issues. Read more...

Assessing Human Pressure in the Brazilian Amazon Forests

Imazon, in partnership with GFW, released the third issue of the series "State of the Amazon." The brief highlights the draft results of a joint project to examine the extent of human activities in the Brazilian Amazon by integrating existing spatially explicit information. The first of its kind, the analysis provides an indication of the extent of the human pressure allowing users to distill insights for land-use planning and monitoring. Click here for the complete story and related publications.


GFW-WRI Releases Map to Help Russia Secure Protected Lands

Washington, D.C., August 2, 2005 - A new map of protected areas was released by the World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch (GFW) Russia initiative. Demonstrating effective land-use decision-making, a consortium of Russian NGOs using the map's database informed Megatron NVK that the company's plans for oil exploration in the North Caspian region fell within protected boundaries. Megatron NVK has since agreed to change license-permit boundaries to exclude protected areas if the Ministry of Natural Resources can verify that the zones are indeed protected.  Read more on the story...



Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Cameroon Ministry of Forests and WRI-GFW

Yaoundé, Cameroon, June 16, 2005 - A memorandum of understanding was signed between WRI and the Cameroon government at a ceremony held in Cameroon on June 16th. This agreement ensures the continuation of a landmark technical partnership between the Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune (MINFOF) and WRI for another three years. The government of Cameroon used the occasion to reinforce its commitment to combat illegal logging, highlighting the MINFOF-WRI partnership as an important contribution to achieving this commitment. Likewise, WRI committed to continue and expand its technical support to the government of Cameroon to improve forest monitoring and governance, combat illegal logging and promote more sustainable management of forest resources.

Convention de Collaboration entre MINFOF et WRI (français) (PDF)
Memorandum of Understanding between MINFOF and WRI (English) (Word)

GFW Workshop at UNFF: “Independent, Operational Forest Monitoring Tools that Support FLEG & FLEGT Processes”

United Nations Headquarters, New York, May 26, 2005 - For the vast majority of forest landscapes, several key questions remain unanswered:

• What is actually happening on the ground?
• Where is it happening?
• When is it happening?
• Who is responsible?

GFW will present tools that help to address these critical forest information and transparency gaps, which are fundamental to the success of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance & Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade efforts. (See http://www.illegal-logging.info/ for details on FLEG & FLEGT).

GFW Presentation at the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress

Bangkok, Thailand, November 20, 2004 - GFW presented a workshop "Protecting forest ecosystems, meeting human needs" highlighting technically advanced and cost-effective tools that are useful for making sustainable land use decisions in forests, anticipating future economics of forest ecosystem use, ensuring the balanced distribution of ecosystem benefits, and establishing constructive communication between stakeholders with diverse interests.

GFW at the World Forestry Congress

Quebec City, Canada, September 23, 2003 - Natural Resources Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, Global Forest Watch Canada, and World Resources Institute announced an agreement to cooperate to enhance Canada's forest information. The agreement was released during the World Forestry Congress in Québec, Canada. Global Forest Watch attended WFP to present at Global Forest Watch Canada's side event "Remaining Wildlands in Canada's Forested Regions" and at Greenpeace's side event "The Last Large Intact Areas: Mapping a Future for the World's Ancient Forests."
See the press release.

Canada’s Large Intact Forest Landscapes

Ottawa, September 15, 2003 - Canada’s Large Intact Forest Landscapes was launched today by Global Forest Watch Canada at the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada.

The report is the first analysis of its kind ever performed in Canada, and is the result of a multiyear mapping effort by GFW in Canada. Using a combination of satellite imagery, GIS, ancillary data sources and ground verification, GFW has produced maps that identify intact forest landscapes.

See the press release (English) (Français)
Get the publication.

Workshop Report on “Best Practices for Detecting Illegal and Destructive Commercial Logging”

A three-day workshop on “Best Practices for Detecting Illegal and Destructive Commercial Logging” was held in Washington, D.C., May 29-31, 2002.

The meeting brought together practitioners from NGOs and   civil society groups in 12 countries that work on detecting illegal logging.  Meeting participants exchanged practical on-the-ground knowledge regarding the detection and monitoring of illegal logging activities using a variety of methods ranging from field investigations and paper audits to the use of satellite data.  Discussions included how to best design and manage a field investigation and how to communicate investigative results.   Best practices were identified and outlined for each detection method.   The results from the workshop were shared with a broader audience during a plenary session on the third day, at which workshop participants presented 5 case studies that highlighted best practices for detection and monitoring, and provided examples of how detection and monitoring activities are acting as catalysts for better forest management. Learn more about the workshop and participants’ presentations.

Download GFW Satellite Imagery

More than 100 Landsat 7 satellite images purchased by Global Forest Watch are now available for Russia, Chile, and Canada. Scenes can be downloaded for a nominal fee of $50. These images were used for GFW’s The Last Intact Forest Landscapes of Northern European Russia and forthcoming reports on the status of forests in Chile and Canada.

All Landsat and Aster images that were used for the Atlas of Russia's Intact Forest Landscapes are available at the website of GFW/Russia partner Transparent World.

Custom-Made Maps from the GFW Interactive Map Server

Create a map showing precisely the layers that interest you. Map GFW data for Canada, Central Africa Indonesia or Venezuela. You may also view the World Resources Institute’s Frontier Forest data for Africa, Asia, Eurasia, North America, Russia, South America, Oceania, or make a global map.


Global Forest Watch is an initiative of the World Resources Institute
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