The game change in effective forest monitoring may have begun decades ago with the first satellites launched into space but certainly the up an coming “data monsters” – European Sentinel satellites – will take it to the brand new level.
Forests provide a unique challenge and major opportunity for climate change mitigation, with a fine line between their immense capacity to either contribute to or mitigate climate change.
Sustainable forest management is crucial, as a decrease in the health and resilience of forest ecosystems can cause transition from a carbon sink to a carbon source. Maintaining these ecosystems is not only an effective climate change mitigation strategy, but is also important for the millions that depend on forests for social and economic needs.
The demand for information on landscapes including forests and other vegetation, agriculture, settlements and infrastructure has tremendously increased in recent years.
As the international community is further developing mechanisms for implementing concrete, measurable and verifiable actions within the framework of global environmental conventions such as on climate change, biodiversity conservation and combatting desertification, there is a growing need for information on a wide range of ecological, social and economic aspects at the landscape scale including forests and trees.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Edvard Pogačnik bought forest lands in Pohorje, Slovenia, Central Europe, which he initially described as “in an unfavourable state”. He attributed their condition to inappropriate forest management and used a mixture of systematic observations and forest care to create a forest of “especially appealing structure and quality” (Martin Čokl, 1959). He has independently developed a forest control method and his autochthonous system of forest management is comparable to the most advanced forest management methods of the time.
Trees are one of the wonders of nature, no tree species is useless.
I needed to get good wood from the market to construct a reading table in my room. On getting to the market I couldn’t get my desired wood species, as it was not in stock, because of the high demand for it.
I asked is there no other substitute. The plank seller introduced me to another species “Ficus mucoso” but I was not willing to buy any other. I went back home dissatisfied. But some years after I decided to research on this species: Ficus mucuso.
Xóchitl (nombre en náhuatl que significa, “la reina de las flores”) es una mujer que enviudó muy joven y que sobrevivió con sus dos pequeños hijos, recolectando microbios comestibles, en una comunidad indígena náhuatl, muy cerca del “ombligo de la luna”, como le llamaban los antiguos mexicas al sitio en el Lago de Texcoco donde se fundó la actual Ciudad de México.
La vivienda de Xóchitl se ubica en las inmediaciones del Monte “Tlaloc” (en náhuatl: “néctar de la tierra”-“tlal”= tierra; “octli”= “néctar”); un lugar boscoso y místico, donde se dice que habita el “Dios de la lluvia”; al que han venerado las antiguas culturas mesoamericanas por representar el agua celestial y considerarlo responsable de las sequías y lluvias torrenciales.
In Peru, the current deforestation rate is approximately 261,000 ha per year – that’s 3.5 Singapore’s every year! – and illegal logging is a significant factor. But, the country, and its people, need to utilize the Amazon’s resources to develop, so leaving it untouched is not an option for those who rely on it for their livelihoods. The surprising solution may seem contradictory, but there is a way that meets the needs of Peru’s population without compromising the needs of future generations – and, yes, it involves cutting down more trees.
Food security, an important part of human well being, is a major concern for most if not all developing country. Madagascar’s rainforests are constantly and severely threatened by local communities which have, most of time, no other choice than using natural resources for a living.
« Carbon storage » as an ecosystemical service is a non destructive way to valorize the forests. However defining the valuable carbon stock is tricky and even the scientific community must face strong difficulties to give a precise accounting of the carbon stock. Carbon is stored in different pools and the most detailed and studied one is the most apparent: the above ground biomass. However, carbon is also stored in roots and in soil, also called “below ground carbon”, which are both a huge stock.
This is the story of how the company I work for, Insight Robotics, is trying to change the way forest fires are fought, and some of the surprising twists and turns that mission has taken us on along the way. Fair warning, the story involves sensors, robots, drug cartels and a whole lot more.
To a non-specialist, the scale of wildfires can come as a shock. Globally, they burn over 3% of the world’s vegetated landmass every year. Some level of wildfire is an important element in biodiversity, but human activity and climate change have caused rapid and dangerous increases in their frequency and intensity worldwide. In densely populated areas such as Europe, North America and Asia for example, humans are responsible for up to 95% of wildfires. And fire season has gotten almost 20% longer since 1980 due to climate change, which by 2050 is also expected to cause a 50-100% increase in the area burnt by wildfires in countries like the United States.
Tropical forests contain a huge amount of biological diversity, play a key role in human health, offer a vast array of ecosystem services and have become central to global debates on climate change.
But extensive deforestation and degradation are causing a significant decline in the biological diversity and the ecosystem goods and services provided by them. And, in many African countries there is a notable connection between degradation and the inability of decision makers – and the larger society – to access existing scientific knowledge and innovations that could help reverse the impacts of forest degradation.