Clark Labs at Clark University is supporting the conservation efforts of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with its Land Change Modeler software. WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, with projects and staff in over 100 countries. The Land Change Modeler software includes utilities to analyze and predict land change, as well as estimate impacts on biodiversity. It is currently being used for many REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects.
WWF has initiated pilot projects in key regions of the world to better understand the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and test methods for sustainably managing forests and ecosystems for adaptation and resilience. The Land Change Modeler software is included in the suite of analytical software being used by WWF-Germany’s Remote Sensing expertise, which is supporting a number of WWF projects worldwide.
‘We are very eager to support organizations like WWF who protect our environment and utilize sustainable practices.’ – James Toledano, Executive Director of Clark Labs
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Land Change Modeler will be applied towards REDD efforts, where they are looking at deforestation, degradation, its associated drivers, and greenhouse gas emissions scenarios as part of a larger project on forest biomass and REDD.
Another project, in partnership with the European Space Agency and Hatfield Consultants, will promote innovative planning efforts to sustainably manage forests in the Heart of Borneo. The collaboration will use Land Change Modeler to explore alternative development pathways and the impacts on the value of ecosystem services, those services that natural ecosystems provide, such as watershed protection, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. The project will use current and historical earth observation data, integrated with other information to model future land cover under “business as usual” and “green economy” scenarios, based on the concept of payment for ecosystem services.
Clark Labs is supporting WWF with preferred pricing on the software. The agreement also extends to their funded partners for their capacity building efforts. Clark Labs has signed agreements with a variety of non-profit organizations, NGOs and users in developing countries.
Aurelie Shapiro from WWF-Germany said, “The discounted pricing will really help our field offices in countries such as DRC or Indonesia, who may not have substantial funds budgeted for software. Land Change Modeler is accessible, easy to use and already utilized by our partners.”
WWF recently set up a Conservation Science Network to better link the network’s scientists, including GIS practitioners, forest carbon experts, and species teams. Shapiro continued, “Land Change Modeler will have particular interest as we and our Conservation Science Network are involved in identifying drivers of deforestation.”
WWF is one of a variety of institutions, including Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society and others, who are recipients of discounted software.
Clark Labs is based within the world-renowned Graduate School of Geography at Clark University and is the developer of the IDRISI Taiga GIS and Image Processing software and the Land Change Modeler software extension to ArcGIS.
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