Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.
A Landsat-based humid tropical forest disturbance alert was implemented for Peru, the Republic of Congo and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Alerts were mapped on a weekly basis as new terrain-corrected Landsat 7 and 8 images weremade available; results are presented for all of 2014 and through September 2015. The three study areas represent different stages of the forest land use transition, with all featuring a variety of disturbance dynamics including logging, smallholder agriculture, and agroindustrial development. Results for Peru were formally validated and alerts found to have very high user's accuracies and moderately high producer's accuracies, indicating an appropriately conservative product suitable for supporting land management and enforcement activities. Complete pan-tropical coverage will be implemented during 2016 in support of the Global Forest Watch initiative. To date, Global Forest Watch produces annual global forest loss area estimates using a comparatively richer set of Landsat inputs. The alert product is presented as an interim update of forest disturbance events between comprehensive annual updates.