Forests cover 38 million km2 or one third of the entire land surface of the Earth. They play a very important role in the production of oxygen, which is essential for human life. For this reason we use advanced technologies to monitor the state of our forests and the efficient use of forest resources. The most pressing issues relating to forestry today are fires, illegal logging and inadequate supervision and management of woodland areas.
To combat fires it is essential to take an integrated approach, including fire protection measures and a warning system. The key factor in containing a forest fire is the amount of time that elapses between its outbreak and its detection. Unfortunately, even with the help of modern technologies and an extensive network of rangers observing the forests, there are cases where it takes hours or even days to detect a forest fire.
This challenge can be addressed with the help of Earth Observing Systems. By analysing high-resolution satellite images it becomes possible to detect outbreaks of fire anywhere in the world, with satellites serving as tireless sentinels, watching over our forests to spot fires and relay the information to people on the ground. This approach is underpinned by “/Technology/”.
Tree mortality due to diseases is one of the main causes of deforestation. Tree diseases inflict great damage on the entire forestry ecosystem and it takes years to eliminate the consequences. Difficulties also arise in measuring the spread of a disease, the number of dead trees and the type of disease.
This challenge can be addressed by using earth remote sensing systems to monitor, analyse and devise containment strategies for problems relating to tree mortality and diseases. Images in various spectrums can be used to identify not only a disease and an infected area, but also the pests attacking the trees.
Even where problems such as tree mortality and forest fires do not exist, forest lands have to be managed. By managing forests more efficiently commercial profits can be increased and risks mitigated.
Tree farm management can be carried out using an interactive map built on high-resolution satellite images. The manager places the relevant woodland area in his user account to analyse key indicators such as vegetation indices, the history of dead trees, potentially dangerous zones and recommendations on forestry management.
Tree logging is the main type of commercial exploitation of forestry resources. However, every woodland owner or manager understands that excessive logging will extend the rehabilitation period of the forest resources. And in the longer term, this will result in reduced income. There is also the likelihood of illegal logging, which causes serious ecological problems and losses on the part of the state or forest owners.
The process of logging needs to be controlled using satellite monitoring. Observation of forest lands from space ensures a global understanding of the logging process.