Data on tropical forests are in high demand. But ground forest measurements are hard to sustain and the people who make them are extremely disadvantaged compared to those who use them. We propose a new approach to forest data that focuses on the needs of data originators, and ensures users and funders contribute properly.
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The data used to produce Fig. 1 are publicly available. Data on gross domestic product and population size are available from the World Bank at https://data.worldbank.org/indicator. Data on tropical forest area (closed, open or fragmented forests) were extracted from the Forests 2000 by Major Ecological Domains grid, provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization at http://www.fao.org/geonetwork.
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The authors thank T. Pennington, F. Costa and A. Vicentini for helpful discussions and comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. For support in making this possible, we thank the Royal Society (International Collaboration Award, ICA\R1\180100), the Leverhulme Trust (APX\R1\191094), NERC (NE/S011811/1 ‘ARBOLES’; NE/T01279X/1 ‘SECO’), São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology (project contract 23/2020/HĐ-NĐT), the Global Land Programme, Missouri Botanical Garden, US National Science Foundation (Award 2020424) and the Peruvian Service for Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information
Nature Ecology & Evolution thanks Rob Crystal-Ornelas and Mariana Chiuffo for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
The Distribution of Tropical Forests and National Investments in Research and Development Across the World.
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de Lima, R.A.F., Phillips, O.L., Duque, A. et al. Making forest data fair and open. Nat Ecol Evol 6, 656–658 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-022-01738-7