Asia Pulp & Paper Unveils Forest Monitoring Dashboard to Tackle Deforestation and Forest Fires

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), in partnership with satellite surveillance technology provider MDA Corporation has launched a forest monitoring dashboard to deliver near-real time updates on the state of forest cover across its concessions’ conservation areas.

The Forest Alert service combines high-resolution images from the RADARSAT-2 satellite system with smart algorithms to detect changes in the forest canopy between passes to identify areas where trees have been damaged or cut down. The service is sensitive enough to detect even subtle changes in areas as small as 0.5 hectares. This information allows responders on the ground to quickly identify and investigate forest cover changes across APP’s protected conservation areas.

This is especially useful in identifying remote areas that have been encroached upon by illegal logging or mining operations, so that action can be taken to quickly stop further deforestation.

“Conservation areas are undeveloped and often difficult to access. While this can make it difficult for criminals to exploit these protected areas, it also makes it difficult for us to discover when illegal encroachment is taking place. The Forest Alert service solves this problem by giving us timely and accurate information so that we can take the appropriate actions to protect our conservation forests,” said Elim Sritaba, Chief Sustainability Officer at Asia Pulp & Paper.

The forest cover monitoring system has been undergoing testing and implementation since 2017. The new dashboard marks the first time that the company has made this information available to the public, allowing interested parties to follow these chronology of these developments and to better understand the actions taken in response.

The updated dashboard also includes a separate feature that tracks hotspot data from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space of Indonesia (LAPAN), the ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Centre (ASMC) and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Fire Forest Monitoring. The dashboard shows the locations of hotspots in and around APP supplier concessions as well as the verification status for each identified hotspot.

“The launch of our Forest Monitoring Dashboard is a significant step forward for APP that demonstrates not only our commitment to forest protection and conservation, but also our willingness to do so in a way that is transparent and accountable,” said Elim.

The Forest Monitoring Dashboard was unveiled during APP’s 9th Stakeholder Advisory Forum, at which it reports on the progress made on its Forest Conservation Policy. The dashboard can be accessed at www.sustainability-dashboard.com.

Written by Kevin Gambrill

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