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EU turns to satellite surveillance to protect its forests

This video is part of: Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Europe's forests, covering roughly 4% of the world's total, face mounting pressure. Illegal deforestation and climate-induced wildfires are taking a toll, with 2022 alone witnessing the loss of 90,000 hectares – an area equivalent to Corsica. The EU, recognizing the urgency, has proposed a novel solution: satellite-based forest monitoring.

EU and ESA are teaming up to protect forests

The proposed law envisions a partnership between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA). Leveraging data from the Sentinel satellite constellation, the system will provide a comprehensive overview of Europe's forests, filling the gaps and delays often plaguing member state reports.

Satellites to track wildfires and illegal logging

Satellite data will prove invaluable in tracking both wildfires and illegal logging activities. Early detection of wildfires can lead to faster response times and potentially save lives and property. In Eastern Europe, where ancient forests are particularly vulnerable to illegal logging, satellite monitoring can act as a powerful deterrent.

Protecting forests, protecting the planet

Guarding Europe's forests goes beyond conservation. Healthy forests play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide. They also help regulate water flow, preventing floods and soil erosion. The proposed monitoring system promises to be a vital tool in ensuring the long-term health of these vital ecosystems.

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European UnionForests
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