Of the world’s remaining forests, only 40% are intact, with high ecological integrity, according to data from the newly developed Forest Landscape Integrity Index, the first of its kind to measure the state of forests on a global scale. A recently published study in the journal Nature Communications describes the Forest Landscape Integrity Index, an open-source tool created by 47 global conservation and forests experts. The index makes use of some of the latest technologies in remote sensing, big data and cloud computing, allowing scientists to measure forest integrity and share the data publicly. “The index helps fill critical gaps in our understanding of the state of the world’s forests,” Crystal Davis, director of Global Forest Watch, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay in an email. “The index will help decision-makers identify intact forests most critical for conservation as well as those that should be prioritized for restoration and recovery.” According to the index, 17.4 million square kilometers (6.7 million square miles) of remaining forests (40.5%) have high ecological integrity, a measure of human impact calculated using observed human pressure (infrastructure, agriculture, tree cover loss), inferred human pressure based on the proximity to known human pressures, and changes in forest connectivity. The high-integrity forests are found mostly in Canada, Russia, the Amazon, Central Africa, and New Guinea. Of the remaining high-integrity forests, only 27% are currently in nationally designated protected areas. “The Forest Landscape Integrity Index for 2019 categorized into three broad, illustrative classes and mapped across each…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer