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  • Writer's pictureOffset Trail

We collaborate in the WOODFOREST SATELLITE project.

The Valencian Region is one of the territories that currently obtains the least benefit from its forest resources, with only 7.4% of its forest area with an approved management for its planning and sustainable exploitation, compared to 18% on average throughout Spain, according to data from the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Ministry of Agriculture, 2019. All this, together with other factors such as the high degree of smallholdings, abandonment of management, and low associationism of the sector and ownership, leads to negative repercussions that we all know, such as the stagnation of rural economies, increased risk of fires and forest pests, etc.

This situation has led AIDIMME, the technological institute that integrates Metalworking, Furniture, Wood, Packaging and Related Industries, to launch an innovation project to study and catalog the forest masses thanks to the information obtained by orbital satellites, with the aim of developing a program that allows to know the timber yields of these forests and to plan the method for obtaining wood and biomass in a sustainable and profitable way. This project is financed by IVACE and the European Union.

According to Francisco Blasco, coordinator of the project, named Woodforest Satellite, "One of the problems for timber exploitation is the high cost of making an adequate inventory of existing resources, in addition to the conditions of the orography and access to the land".

The use of satellites such as Sentinel, from the European Copernicus program, significantly reduces these costs and improves data quality thanks, in part, to their permanent updating. Thanks to these systems, the researchers intend to develop an algorithm to determine, with the appropriate resolution, parameters such as the density and volume of trees, the species or their growth, thus knowing the potential of extractable wood, ensuring its future use by having the appropriate information.

This would significantly improve the knowledge about the potential of the forests of the main regional forest variety, Pinus halepensis, or popularly Aleppo pine, which represents about 72% of the wooded area of the Valencian Region. This species, although not very attractive for industry, is mainly used for the manufacture of pallets, wooden containers and packaging in products that have a limited durability and which, in turn, are subsequently used for the panel industry, which makes use of the waste from these articles. But, in addition, with its use as biomass it can also be used for energy uses such as biogas, a purpose for which its wood has even been exported.

To calibrate the satellite information collected, the project will conduct a pilot in several plots in the three provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia to compare the data. To develop this tool AIDIMME also has the collaboration of valencian companies dedicated to forestry services and environmental consulting as well as the potential consumers of the timber, such as manufacturers of plywood and boards, Offset Trail is among the collaborator entities and we have already been able to accompany the technicians to perform some field work and carry out marking of some of these plots.


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