Forests are an important component that supports life on the planet. They clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, prevent soil erosion, and act as a buffer against climate change. Forests play a vital role in maintaining the Earth’s ecological balance and environmental health. Clean air, water quality, and recreational potential depend on the presence and quantity of vegetation. Trees are home to most plants and animals and provide vital resources humans need to survive.
Every year, the world’s forestry industry suffers enormous losses due to fires, illegal logging, and inefficient use of forests. The process of rebuilding timber stocks is complex and time-consuming. Due to the strong anthropogenic impact, changes in forest cover are a global concern, therefore huge sums of money have been invested in developing technology to accurately monitor and assess the current state of forests at different spatial scales to develop early warning systems.
Many governments, public and private forestry organizations and agencies now use geospatial technologies such as GIS and satellite, aerial, or UAV imagery for various applications supporting forest monitoring, analysis, and management.
What Forest Monitoring Means
Forest monitoring systems include measurement, reporting, and verification functions and aim to produce high-quality and reliable data on forests, including forest carbon estimates, which are critical in combating climate change caused by deforestation and degradation. It includes ground-based forest monitoring systems, satellite monitoring systems, and other data collection systems, which also create a variety of forestry jobs in the labour market.
Remote sensing is particularly important in forest monitoring because it combines many tools to better analyze the condition of forests.
Remote sensing methods solve the following problems in forestry:
- Forest mapping
- Measuring biophysical parameters of vegetation
- Obtaining biophysical (e.g., leaf area index, fractional vegetation cover, and plant height) and biochemical (e.g., leaf chlorophyll content and moisture content) vegetation characteristics
- Detailed examination of problem forest areas for changes
- Monitoring of anomalies over a time interval, based on image archives, maps, charts, reports, etc.
- Forest classification by species and natural growing conditions
- Modelling of emergency circumstances (fires, floods, felling).
Large- and medium-scale monitoring of the forest environment can be done in cost-effective ways using remote sensing and sensor-based analysis from aircraft or the ground. Higher quality sensors (higher resolution, spectral ranges) and data collection technologies are becoming increasingly available for both new Earth observation satellites, ground observation towers, and aircraft (manned and unmanned). Both individually and in combination, these different surveillance methods can provide valuable data for resource management or first-response actions to anomalous events.
EOSDA Forest Monitoring
EOSDA Forest Monitoring is a software developed specifically for forest owners, logging companies, forestry suppliers, research institutes, and other industry players. The instrument enables remote forest monitoring and management in one place based on satellite imagery analytics.
The platform offers access to all the necessary features needed to analyze forests and implement sustainable management practices. The users can detect and track deforestation, identify changes in forest health and productivity, analyze weather trends, monitor tree crop moisture levels and receive water stress reports to predict the risk of fires.
One of the most important features when it comes to forest monitoring is wildfire prevention and mitigation. EOSDA Forest Monitoring aids with that by allowing users to track temperature anomalies to respond accordingly and minimize the damage in case of fires.
Afforestation with EOSDA
Afforestation is essential when it comes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and climate change resilience. Businesses that aim to be sustainable are creating and supporting tree-planting initiatives worldwide. For example, Evergreen is an international tree-planting platform that sells certified trees to businesses and enables virtually donating trees to a third party.
Currently, the company provides tree planting in nine countries, and due to such vast geography, it has faced a need for a new way to ensure transparency for those who invest in the afforestation of distant countries and regions. And that way is to enable customers to check the progress and result of what they have been paying for. A digital forest monitoring tool is a perfect solution for that.
Using EOSDA Crop Monitoring, an online precision agriculture platform has enabled the observation of afforestation, fruit tree planting, and agroforestry projects across different countries.
Interested parties could track trees’ growth, identify negative changes in plant development, prevent diseases, detect infertile soil, and easily recognize areas with dense, moderate, and sparse vegetation or open soil to detect problem zones at different stages of tree growth.
This has allowed Evergreen to increase in retention rate by up to 15%, mark raising interest in a subscription model, and even offer satellite monitoring as a value-added service that significantly improves sales results.
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