Success story

Monitoring trees for nature conservation law

Forests; Assess Deforestation / Forest Degradation; Detect illegal forest activities; Forestry; Forest management; Forest policy

Proposal

On behalf of several provinces NEO has monitored whether trees disappeared in areas that fall under the nature conservation law. The enforcement of this law is difficult, as areas are enormous and human resources limited. By monitoring the trees in an automated way NEO delivers only the most relevant changes to the client to follow up in the field. The nationwide tree database of the Boomregister that was developed by NEO is used as baseline. Satellite data is used as source for the yearly updates. We use deep learning algorithms to signal where trees have disappeared, and filter them to only keep the most relevant ones.

Possible illegal logging becomes visible at locations that are visible and invisible to the enforcer.

Benefits

  • Satellite images cover a large area in a short time.
  • Extremely accurate due to automation supplemented with manual monitoring
  • Very cheap compared to field research
  • The forest inspectors know exactly where to look
  • Possible illegal logging becomes visible at locations that are visible and invisible to the enforcer
  • Check on licensed felling of trees saves time and money

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