Early Warning System

Early Warning System uses data from high-quality radar images, to monitor changes and thus accurately detect unplanned deforestation.

© Pete Oxford

The Early Warning System (EWS) programme helps stakeholders to intervene more quickly and more effectively in the event of unplanned deforestation and/or degradation, with the aim of reducing unplanned deforestation. The programme has two aspects: Use of state-of-the-art technology and Focus on implementation.

Use of state-of-the-art technology
EWS uses an online dashboard where users can see where deforestation and degradation has been detected in the past month and where deforestation is predicted in the next 6 months (see also Box 1). In addition to displaying alerts, the dashboard also offers additional features, such as loading contextual data layers and photos, and tracking field surveys and interventions.

Focus on implementation
An important part of the EWS program is the support to stakeholder to implement EWS, for example, by drawing up protocols for monitoring alerts or supporting capacity building among partners to integrate the EWS tool into their own organization.

The EWS programme in Suriname is part of a global programme led by WWF-Netherlands. EWS pilots are also running in Kalimantan, Gabon, Guyana and Sarawak. The partners in EWS Suriname (pilot) program – being the Foundation for Forest Management and Forest Supervision (SBB), Nature Management (NB), Geological Mining Service (GMD) and WWF Guianas – intend to implement EWS in Suriname. Implementation means that EWS is used throughout Suriname to support investigations and interventions against unplanned logging.    

Before EWS is rolled out throughout Suriname (the 'live phase'), EWS will first be tested in a pilot phase. In this 'pilot phase' the project partners will test the EWS dashboard, protocols and governance in 3 areas in Suriname. The goal is to understand the potential of EWS in Suriname and to gather user feedback to improve EWS. The pilot phase follows the preparation phase (August 2020 – December 2020), in which the dashboard is built and the satellite data is validated. At the end of the pilot phase, the progress will be evaluated and a joint review will be given to whether and how EWS can be scaled up throughout Suriname (e.g. on the basis of added value). It is the joint ambition of all partners to continue to scale up EWS after a successful pilot.