Intact Forest Landscapes (2013)

Identifies the world’s last remaining unfragmented forest landscapes, large enough to retain all native biodiversity and showing no signs of human alteration as of the year 2013. This layer also shows the reduction in the extent of Intact Forest Landscapes from 2000 to 2013.

Downloads and Resources


The Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) data set identifies unbroken expanses of natural ecosystems within the zone of forest extent that show no signs of significant human activity and are large enough that all native biodiversity, including viable populations of wide-ranging species, could be maintained. To map IFL areas, a set of criteria was developed and designed to be globally applicable and easily replicable, the latter to allow for repeated assessments over time as well as verification. IFL areas were defined as unfragmented landscapes, at least 50,000 hectares in size, and with a minimum width of 10 kilometers. These were then mapped from Landsat satellite imagery for the year 2000.

Changes in the extent of IFLs were identified within year 2000 IFL boundary using the global wall-to-wall Landsat image composite for year 2013 and the global forest cover loss dataset (Hansen et al., 2013). Areas identified as “reduction in extent” met the IFL criteria in 2000, but no longer met the criteria in 2013. The main causes of change were clearing for agriculture and tree plantations, industrial activity such as logging and mining, fragmentation due to infrastructure and new roads, and fires assumed to be caused by humans.

This data can be used to assess forest intactness, alteration, and degradation at global and regional scales.


CC BY 4.0


Greenpeace, University of Maryland, World Resources Institute and Transparent World. “Intact Forest Landscapes. 2000/2013” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on [date]. www.globalforestwatch.org


Page Last Updated: March 22, 2018

Related Resources

No related items