Papua New Guinea Forest Monitoring Portal

Papua New Guinea Forest Monitoring Portal

The Forest Monitoring Portal of the University of PNG collects satellite imagery of forests, maps recent areas of clearing, logging and fire. These maps will be uploaded onto a public website. A fire watch website is already online that shows the location of forest fires, updated in real time. The project is a major advance in forest governance, allowing public viewing of activities in forests.

Dr. Phil Shearman, Project Co-ordinator


The Papua New Guinea (PNG) forests are vital for the human population that they sustain, the wide biological diversity they contain, the ecological services they provide and in maintaining climatic stability. They also provide commercial timber; approx. 3 million m³ of raw logs were exported in 2011. Over-exploitation by the logging industry, and flaws in its management by the government has long been a serious issue in. Increased transparency and good governance of the logging industry remains key to retaining PNG’s forest estate and the values it provides to the people, its customary owners.


  • To provide the Papua New Guinea public with accurate, robust, spatially explicit images showing forest extent and the locations where activities causing deforestation and degradation are occurring and to do so as they happen.
  • To improve monitoring and transparency of activities causing deforestation and logging.


  • Development of an online Mapping Portal.
  • Regular acquisition and processing of satellite imagery covering the country from either SPOT Image, Landsat TM, or MODIS.
  • Use of Landsat, SPOT and MODIS imagery in the CLASlite software to regularly identify areas of recent change in the form of deforestation or logging, use of the MODIS satellite’s fire detection product.
  • Collation of the area logged and cleared into statistics describing forest change, and publication of these change statistics.


  • €1 000 000 EU contribution (90% of the total)
  • The project's duration is 20 months


Providing data on deforestation and real time infornation to the aviation industry
"This is really useful for civil aviation as you can see when volcanoes are doing their thing, or be aware that there are heaps of grass fires that may obscure difficulties, in already difficuly aviation circumstances" adds John Bromley, from the Rural Airstrip Authority of Papua New Guinea, when talking about the advantages of the Portal.