For our second project of the Dashboard Week, we were asked to explore forest cover change data from the World Wildlife Foundation. The dataset was extremely wide – 116 columns in total, and covered a variety of deforestation metrics for most of the world’s countries from 2000 to 2019.
After having a look at the data in Excel, two columns caught my attention most: ‘Income’ and ‘% of deforestation affected by fire’. So, I decided to focus on exploring the relationship between those metrics and the levels of deforestation in each country. I also decided to only compare two years - 2000 and 2019 - rather than looking at the full time series. In terms of data preparation, all I did was remove the columns I was not going to use, and bring in some additional data on the countries’ GDP, which I later included using blending technique for some of my charts.
I explored both raw hectare difference as well as percentage difference in forest cover, and my analysis showed that there was no obvious relationship between a country’s GDP or income level and the levels of deforestation, but there was a slightly more apparent correlation between income and the percent of deforestation caused by fires. In particular, countries with lower income levels and GPD were more likely to have a higher percentage of deforestation affected by fires than countries with higher income.