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Increasing Accessibility to Information on Sustainable Forest Management through Remote Sensing

remote sensingWith remote sensing an increasingly important tool within the forestry sector, we are supporting the development of a web-based platform to monitor the sustainable management of forests in Finland using open-source satellite imagery.

Having freely accessible and up-to-date spatial information on forests will have significant benefits for forest certification. The data can be used as an additional tool to ensure the compliance of forest owners, for example, enabling auditors to preview the forest area before beginning the audit, ensuring they sample the most representative section of forest.

Furthermore, by acquiring precise information on changes in forest ecosystems, the criteria and indicators of national forest certification systems can be altered to reflect the changing conditions.

While there will always be a critical role for field audits within the certification process, there is also clear potential in utilizing remote sensing technologies as an additional tool to ensure the compliance of forest owners and inform ongoing monitoring.

PEFC and Remote Sensing

Through our 2014 PEFC Collaboration Fund we are supporting a project led by Forgis Oy to develop an online platform to monitor the sustainable management of forests in Finland. The project will also look to assess the potential of utilizing remote sensing to monitor compliance of certification requirements within the forest. 

Towards this objective, project partners have established the online platform which interprets satellite imagery and can monitor forest change over time. Using the online platform, the project then considered all the forest management requirements of the Finnish Certification System to identify which specific indicators could be assessed remotely. 

Over time, this project will enable stakeholders to analyze the change in forest management within Finland, and in the long term, opportunities will exist to roll out the use of this platform to numerous other countries.

Lead Organization:

Project Partners:

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 304 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 19,800

(as of September 2017)
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2014 Collaboration Fund

Other projects we supported in 2014:

Macedonia 2 sm
Macedonian National System

new zealand small
New Zealand Group Certification