Woodlands, Wetlands, and Watersheds
GIS is a tool that can be used to prevent damage to the valuable resources and habitats of our woodlands, wetlands, and watersheds. Deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion due to global climate change, CO2 emissions, logging, forest fires, and other human disruptions are threats to the earth's woodlands, wetlands, and watersheds. GIS allows users to handle geospatial information to monitor change in targeted areas. Modeling change with GIS permits conservationists to make well-informed decisions about protection plans, reserve policies, and future land-use practices that will most benefit the conservation of forests, biodiversity, wildlife, and resources.
Best Practices: GIS for the Conservation of Woodlands and Wetlands [PDF]
Illegal logging and clear-cutting for development purposes are significant threats to the earth's forests. GIS technology is indispensable for mapping forests because its ability to overlay data temporally allows users to see damage or illegal processes taking place over time. This enables authorities to monitor and penalize illegal deforestation and set boundaries for protected areas.
Forest fires are sometimes a natural and healthy means for a forest to regenerate; however, in most cases, fires are caused by humans and are great threats to woodlands and the life they contain. GIS technology is indispensable in firefighting. Using GIS as a tool to track forest fire locations, fire movements, and firefighting people and resources allows for quicker responses and better outcomes.
Conservation of Ecosystems and Habitats
The temporal and spatial aspects of GIS technology enable users to make maps that highlight environmental concerns. Esri provides an array of software products that aid the mapping process. Applications aid with data inventory, management, overlay, and analysis of relationships and patterns. The ability to manage, analyze, and delineate a variety of geospatial data, such as the plant life, wildlife, water quality of wetlands and watersheds, classification and height of trees, and range of animal habitats, makes GIS essential in finding ways for resources, biodiversity, and animal habitats to be protected and conserved.