Illegal logging is a serious issue that has a tremendous impact on the timber industry and our world’s natural wood resources. It is believed that illegal logging is one of the leading causes for the degradation of the world’s forests. Luckily IoT based technology might just change the effects of illegal logging and could even save our forests entirely.
Scientists from the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) in Bengaluru have been hard at work addressing this problem. Their revolutionary system functions through the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The system involves installing a small device on high-value trees like sandalwood, rosewood and more. The device is designed to send an alert whenever the tree endures any threats. These threats can include cutting, chopping or uprooting the tree and the device.
Using instant message technology, officials are notified through a special alert that is sent through the cloud from the IoT devices whenever disturbances are noticed in particular trees. This is an astronomical advancement for forest lovers and protectors because it means that they will be able to capture culprits in action and could prevent a lot of trees from being cut off.
More than 45 sensors have already been installed at the campus of Malleswaram and these sensors are already supplying forest protectors and scientists with valuable information. The Malleswarm campus plans on installing many more sensors in the near future and hopefully all forests will enjoy protection from these tech devices in the near future.
The effects of illegal logging are devastating to our planet. According to the World Carfree Network, deforestation accounts for up to 15% of global carbon emissions. Forests are valuable resources and can be illegally logged for their resources or cleared so the land can be used for agricultural development. When forests thrive, they consume more carbon than they produce and are known as carbon sinks. When forests decay, they are a carbon source.
With the devastating effects of illegal logging the FDD and other forestry services are keeping their fingers crossed for speedily advancement of the IoT-based tech as well as similar anti-logging solutions that will prevent illegal deforestation. If illegal loggers are faced with immediate consequences for their actions then we could hopefully see a tremendous reduction in illegal logging occurrences.
Nature’s Packaging supports North American wood packaging industries as sustainable as lumber harvested from North American forests is sustainably sourced. Sustainably managed forests are good for the environment as healthy forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere to fight global warming.
If you ever doubted that the great forests of the U.S. are under attack, consider the following forces which are acting daily to diminish one of this nation’s greatest natural resources. Infestations of harmful wood-boring beetles literally kill off tens of thousands of acres of trees every year. Forest fires consume vast tracts of forested lands every year, and even though eventual re-growth occurs, that takes a long time. Changes to the climate, especially drought, are also putting forests under tremendous stress, making them more susceptible to the harmful impacts of pests and forest fires.
Fortunately, there are some projects underway to help counteract all these negative forces, so there is yet hope that trees will remain as guardians of earth, providing their benevolent influence. International forest certification programs like Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensure that forests are sustainably managed, so that for every tree that is harvested, at least one new tree is planted in its place. Without them, there would be a great deal more harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, much of our water supply would go unfiltered, and there wouldn’t be a reliable and consistent supply of lumber for future generations to come.
Even though all forests in North America have been certified for decades, we continue to see the effects of climate change, wood boring pests, forest fires, and poor forest management practices that occurred in the decades and centuries prior. These five projects supported by the Nature Conservancy are an effort to reverse those impacts.
Red spruce forests in this region were decimated by heavy logging and forest fires throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some trees were re-planted, but the red spruce has not grown back as readily as other species have. The Nature Conservancy has partnered with other concerned organizations to help restore some of the great red spruce forests of West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Maryland. This program really got in full swing in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and is still going strong today.
Vast forests of longleaf pine stretched across much of the southeastern U.S. 200 years ago, but that enormous stretch of pine has been virtually wiped away by poor logging methods, and conversion of the land for farming and industrial usage. A serious effort was begun more than a decade ago to reverse this regrettable policy, and today the tiny individual stands of longleaf pine are making a remarkable comeback in some areas, with roughly 4 million acres now enjoying protection from logging and other usage.
The biggest stretch of forested wetlands in America used to be found along the Mississippi bottomland, with cypress and other trees taking up 24 million acres of wetland, and providing home to a diverse collection of animals and other plants. After years of farming and clearing for home-building, only about 5 million acres of those wetlands remain. The Nature Conservancy has worked for the past 30 years to try to protect and restore these Mississippi bottomland areas, and progress is finally starting to gain traction.
Over the past 30 years, the formerly prolific shortleaf pine has seen huge tracts of forest eliminated because of pests and timber management policies. The Nature Conservancy has recently spearheaded a drive called the Shortleaf Pine Initiative to protect and better manage the remaining stands of shortleaf pine.
Numerous metropolitan areas have joined forces with The Nature Conservancy and other organizations to promote a re-forestation of trees in urban settings. Chicago, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles are just a few of the huge cities which have recognized the value of planting as many trees as possible in their urban landscapes, to help improve the quality of life for all their citizenry.
Sustainably managed forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and ensure there will always be a supply of the lumber products available for our needs. North American harvesting practices are far from being universally accepted due to limitations in developing countries, however, advancements in technology have innovated industry practices that could speed up this process. As more countries certify their forests through their local non-profit forest certification program, they could use those technologies to increase their operational efficiencies.
Computer simulation programs help foresters adapt their management practices to changing conditions within forests. Weather conditions like warmer weather and drought could slow a forest’s rate of recovery from forest fires and clear cuts.
Scientists have developed mathematical calculations to make predictions about how forests will recover from events like forest fires. Interestingly, they have used drones to illustrate corresponding visualizations. One simulation program, LES, with the help of the U.S. Forest Service flew drones over a forest taking pictures. As one of its creators Jean Lienard states, “We use this data to develop 3D models that have real distributions of space and ecological features.” That data helps them make predictions about how forests will react to changing weather conditions and other events.
In recent years, drone technology has deepened our understanding of forests and allowed for better forest management practices. When used with sophisticated software, images collected from drones improve operational forest planning, assess inventory, monitor illegal activities, assess an area’s health, and allow land owners to quickly respond to weather damage.
Drones also help with reforestation. Replanting forests by hand has always been a time consuming, expensive, and arduous task; but drone technology offers a unique solution to address these problems. They can be equipped with seed pods and fly over an area and drop seedlings. The opportunities for drones to improve sustainable forest management practices are plentiful.
The future of North American forestry is optimistic. Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and play an important role in removing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. North American harvesters have developed methods that reduce their carbon footprint during the harvesting process, demonstrating their commitment to the cause.
United Nations member states in developing countries could look to North American practices to implement best strategies. Many obstacles must be overcome in order for the world’s forests to be certified. Moreover, the international community appears supportive and technological advancements could streamline some of these tasks. The future of forestry will likely include computer software and drone technology to improve replanting efficiencies and continuously monitor forest health.