Global Mapping and Monitoring the Extent of Forest Alteration: The Intact Forest Landscapes Method

Potapov, P., L. Laestadius, A. Yaroshenko and S. Turubanova

Publication Date:

This paper presents the IFL Method—a novel approach for mapping and monitoring the extent of forest alteration. High spatial resolution satellite images are used to identify and map large undegraded areas called Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL), defined as unbroken expanses of natural ecosystems in the zone of current forest landscapes extent without signs of significant human activity and at least 50,000 hectares in size. The method produces an IFL map which shows the boundary between unaltered forest landscapes (where most components, including species and site diversity, dynamics and ecological functions remain intact) and altered or fragmented forests (where some level of timber extraction, species composition change, anthropogenic fragmentation and/or alteration of ecosystem dynamics has taken place).

Resource Type:
Technical Document

Food and Agriculture Organization