Satellite Data to Control Deforestation


March 21st, 2024



Written by

Marta Mas i Serra

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Deforestation is the intentional reduction of the forest cover from land that is either used as timber or repurposed for other human activities, such as agriculture, urbanisation or mining.  

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates the annual rate of deforestation to be around 1.3 million km2 per decade. On average, 2,400 trees are cut down each minute. 

Deforestation profoundly affects biodiversity, societies, natural ecosystems, and the climate. Forests cover more than 30% of the Earth’s surface and are home to the 80% of the terrestrial species. By destroying the forests, human activities endanger entire ecosystems, creating natural inequities.  

A critical impact of deforestation, which is often overlooked, is that it greatly weakens and degrades the soil, which becomes increasingly fragile, leaving the area more vulnerable to natural disasters such as landslides and floods.  

Deforestation also has effects on local people and their livelihoods. 1.6 billion people globally are supported by healthy forests, and therefore, a lot of people depend on forests for survival. Forests are a source of food, medicine and fuel. In developing countries, businesses have more facilities to buy their lands and use them for other ends, disrupting local people’s lives.  

GlobalTrust can provide businesses and organisations with updates and alerts of potential unregulated deforestation activities at national and local scales. We use satellite imagery and automated analytics to deliver these insights, offering an independent and trustworthy perspective on our clients’ challenges.

We provide instant situational awareness by providing historical and new imagery insights. Additional data can be added to the analysis to contextualise the alerts or provide additional environmental impact intelligence. 

Our knowledge and experience can help your company with valuable insights on your sustainable challenges.  

We can assess the degradation and deforestation of the area, create forest inventories (for example, insights into quantifying the amount of biomass), give technical assistance for carbon stock inventories and make a historical trend analysis and baseline assessment based on satellite imagery and scenario modelling. 


Time series of deforestation in the Amazon basin and automatic change detection (red and purple) between 2018 and 2021