The Forest Data Partnership strengthens global monitoring of commodity-driven forest loss and advances restoration across the globe.

The Forest Data Partnership will develop a consistent geospatial data ecosystem that will enable all actors—local, government, producers, traders and financiers—to access consistent, open-source, publicly available and validated geospatial data related to forest-risk commodities and restoration. In doing so, the Partnership will facilitate credible and systematic monitoring, verification, and disclosure to drive progress in reducing deforestation and restoring degraded lands.

Governments and companies across sectors are pledging to help end deforestation and accelerate restoration in order to ward off the worst impacts of climate change, protect against biodiversity loss and safeguard the many benefits of forests to people and nature. These pledges include the COP26 Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, where leaders of 141 countries committed to collectively halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while promoting sustainable development and an inclusive rural transformation.

In order for governments and companies to establish meaningful plans to meet these pledges and monitor and demonstrate progress, it is essential that all parties have accurate and timely information about forest extent, land use and the drivers of land use change including deforestation. This information needs to be available in a transparent and consistent format so that all parties can compare and collectively assess their progress toward meeting these pledges.

Technologies related to remote sensing, cloud infrastructure and machine learning, which are advancing by the day, offer unprecedented opportunities to meet these needs and drastically transform the way landscapes are monitored and managed. To best harness this potential, stakeholders need careful coordination on data, methodologies, and analysis, as well as agreement on clear definitions and common standards for systematic forest monitoring.

The Forest Data Partnership will develop a framework through five action-oriented work streams that:

  • Engage stakeholders to participate in the Partnership and communicate needs and lessons learned to create more effective interventions
  • Align stakeholders to reach consensus around key datasets in the ever-expanding landscape of forest monitoring data and identify critical data gaps
  • Innovate to build functional consensus around existing data and develop new approaches and novel data where necessary
  • Deploy consistent, open-source and validated geospatial data on commodities most linked to deforestation and forest degradation to enable stakeholders to credibly and systematically monitor, verify, and disclose progress
  • Assess how increased alignment and accessibility can help stakeholders collectively reduce deforestation and improve restoration

A Global Consortium

Initiated in October 2021, this five-year partnership, coordinated by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with support from USAID and the U.S. Department of State, brings together leading organizations, governments and private sector partners to collectively address the challenge of improving land use data. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WRI will lead the development of the data ecosystem by convening public and private sector stakeholders, providing governance and facilitation, and maintaining technical facilities for implementation. SERVIR, a joint initiative of NASA, USAID and leading geospatial organizations, will build capacity to use geospatial data at national and regional levels through its network of hubs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Google will support the initiative as the key technology partner and platform provider. Unilever will serve as the private sector lead for launching the ecosystem and coordinating private sector involvement.

The Partnership invites participation of leading companies that buy and finance commodities and that have publicly committed to deforestation-free supply chains and restoration. The Partnership also invites participation by national and sub-national governments, local and regional NGOs, and technical partners and communities located in tropical landscapes.

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