For millions of years, forests have ensured the survival of our planet by reducing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. They store solar energy and ensure that water levels and the climate remain stable. Every square inch of a forest contains an ecosystem home to millions of organisms, thereby promoting biodiversity. Forests also preserve our landscape by reducing soil erosion. The roots of the trees hold the soil in places so that it can’t be easily carried away by water. Forests can also serve as a source of wood and other natural resources for the human population. It acts as a leisure location where people go for recreation.
After the industrial revolution, humans started cutting down trees and destroying forests at alarming rates. This is one of the main reasons for the spike in the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and global warming. It was only a few years ago that governments and concerned bodies started to develop a forest management plan to ensure sustainable forests.
Sustainable forest management guarantees forest resources for future generations while ensuring that our immediate environmental, social, and economic forestry needs are met.
What is forest management?
Forest management is the process of looking after a forest to ensure its survival. This might mean doing nothing within the forest ecosystems or carrying out complex interventions to ensure the survival of its inhabitants. For this, you will need a forest management plan which includes preventing disasters such as wildfires, landslides, and even illegal deforestation, which may affect the forests and nearby communities.
Foresters and forest managers are responsible for managing forests. They are in charge of creating plans that spell out how entire ecosystems should be managed based on specific criteria. Their work may entail planting new trees, cutting down old ones, and clearing dry leaves to prevent fires.
Forest management to prevent forest fires
Forest monitoring is one of the best forest monitoring software built by EOSDA for sustainable forest management. It is also a great tool for preventing forests fires, and we will explore some of its features:
- It provides a 14-day weather forecast and historical and current weather analytics, which helps experts plan their activities accordingly or re-schedule them for later if weather data shows anomalies.
- The system also provides abnormal temperature detection and alerts for timely intervention in case of any threats.
- Detection of water stress levels and significant rise in temperature may identify very dry areas of the forest that may potentially lead to forest fires.
Wildfires are among the world’s most destructive natural disasters in terms of coverage area. As the global average temperature rises, the occurrence of forest fires has increased, thereby destroying more areas. This means that many more human and material resources are needed to quench these fires. The result of the increased damages done by fires is the extinction of some species, increased greenhouse gasses, destruction of property, and even loss of life.
An effective and fast detection system needs to be put in place to fight and prevent these fires. Remote sensing is a technology that makes quick detection of fires possible so that experts can control the spread and limit the destruction caused by the fires. Acquiring operational info about the fires buys us the time needed to respond to a developing wildfire. This data needs to be accurate and reliable so that property and people at risk may be evacuated on time to prevent loss of life.
Benefits of forest management
The benefits of sustainable forest management to humans and the environment are endless, so we are going to look at some of the advantages:
Provides healthier forests
Forest management ensures that the forests remain protected and healthy. This leads to an environment where animals, plants, and other organisms can thrive, thereby increasing biodiversity. When the forests are healthy, they become good tourist attraction sites and places where people can go camping, hiking, and other recreational activities.
Allows for new trees
In the past, people harvested forest resources faster than they could be replenished. That is what created the negative effects which we see to this day. However, new forest management strategies ensure that once a log or tree is removed, another one is planted so that resources are constantly available.
Improves air quality
Trees decrease the air pollution in a specific area. That is why we need to actively ensure that the forests in our areas are healthy to remove pollution from the air. Also, they are responsible for removing CO2 from the atmosphere while releasing oxygen.
Improves water quality
Trees in the forests can also improve water quality. They have a huge role to play in filtering water and retaining water sources. The balance between water, soil, and trees is a prerequisite for high-quality drinking water to flow. This is good not only for humans but also for other wildlife in the immediate vicinity.
Produces more materials
Wood is one of the most extracted resources from forests. So, forest management ensures that the forests can produce enough wood for human needs now and in the future. For this to happen, we need to constantly plant trees and look after forests so that they are capable of constantly producing wood.
Wildfires are one of the biggest threats to forests and even surrounding human communities. We can use forest management to prevent fires or significantly limit their spread and intensity. It will help to reduce the damage done to ecosystems, properties, and human life.