What: Detecting deforestation in the tropical rainforest
Where: Ethiopia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ivory Coast
When: 2020 - 2021

Deforestation is a significant contributing factor to climate change. Using satellite imagery and machine learning, we are able to visualise where forest areas are threatened and disappearing. To achieve this, the Organisation Everitas is developing a new algorithm that is used to detect and track both large and small-scale deforestation. With this method, we are hoping to specifically uncover changes which usually go unnoticed.

The results of this study will enable us to better understand the role of small-scale farmers in deforestation in the coffee belt and will be used to create more awareness around the granularity of changes in tropical forest canopies as well as to fuel further research efforts in the field.

Our partner for this project is the international NGO Enveritas which is based New York. As an organisation, they focus on comprehensive sustainability assessments of value chains in the coffee and cocoa sectors. Thus, after our previous engagement with them, where we surveyed the sustainability of Ethiopian coffee production, we are pleased to work again with their team, comprised of long-time experts in development cooperation, innovative thinkers as well as tech enthusiasts.

At the moment, we're expecting the first results from our model calibration in Indonesia and are preparing for our first detailed analysis of Vietnam. Here, the highlands face a particular sustainability challenge as forest areas are competing with continued pressures to expand harvested areas including illegal encroachment into protected areas.