Illegal logging is the felling of trees and the use and transportation of wood and other products from those areas where it is prohibited by law. Illegal logging also involves corrupt ways of gaining access to protected areas. The timber is sold illegally or on black markets. Also, illegal logging is considered excessive extraction of forest products that exceed the limits. This problem is exacerbated by the growing demand for timber and palm oil. In this article, you will learn about the various factors that affect illegal logging and ways to combat them, including innovative tools like those you can find on https://eos.com/products/forest-monitoring/.
Causes of Illegal Logging
Rural poverty is one of the leading causes of illegal logging, as in most cases, rural communities and indigenous tribes in various regions live in poverty. Firewood, food, and building materials for their dwellings are obtained by members of such districts from the forest, which leads to illegal logging. The forest is often the primary source of income for rural residents, so they collude with those engaged in illegal logging or illegally logging themselves and sell the wood to sawmills.
The demand for relatively cheap wood on the black market is also a source of illegal logging. Due to higher prices, legal needs may lose competitive advantage. Dependence on blackwood in the EU, Japan, the US, and China exacerbates the problem.
Dependence on charcoal and high demand for furniture and timber is also growing worldwide and is driving the practice of illegal logging. In developing countries, charcoal is used for heating, and illegal logging of hardwoods is also on the rise. At the same time, government officials and corporate executives are involved in illegal logging.
Forest management in many wood-producing countries leaves much to be desired, and legislation fails to deal with illegal logging. Poor institutions and limited resources cause inadequate law enforcement. As a result, proper land use management also suffers. These factors make it difficult to enforce the laws that protect against illegal logging, and gaps in legislation create opportunities for businesses and individuals interested in excessive and illicit logging.
Satellite technology in the fight against illegal logging
Satellite monitoring of forests makes it possible to regularly monitor and assess the state of forest cover and its area. The information obtained from satellite data makes it possible to apply more efficient and rational decisions for the management of forest lands. The awareness of decision-makers is also a critical factor in preventing various threats and taking timely measures to protect forests. In addition, satellite technologies make a significant contribution to sustainable forestry development.
Accurate forest and land cover maps also help improve forest management sustainability and improve land use control. They can provide insight into how human production activities affect changes in climate, land cover, and hydrological processes. Thanks to Earth observation capabilities, we can get real-time information about disturbances in forest lands. It provides the availability to quickly assess the scale of threats and mitigate damage from various natural disasters, including fires. Illegal logging is also recorded using satellite monitoring technologies and accurate forest cover maps.
Fortunately, today, convenient and practical tools based on satellite data allow you to make forest management safer and more productive. EOS Forest Monitoring, created by EOS Data Analytics, is a satellite software that provides the user with the ability to monitor the health of forests remotely. This software also sends timely notifications of various risks and changes in forest land. It is an all-in-one tool that promotes sustainability in forestry and helps save time, money, and resources.
The negative ecological effect of illegal logging
Illegal logging harms the ecology, which manifests itself in different ways. One of the main problems is the loss of biodiversity. Due to the destruction of the habitat due to logging, various species of flora and fauna are endangered.
Climate change and environmental pollution are also consequences of illegal logging. Cutting down trees and further deforestation leads to problems with soil and atmosphere, into which greenhouse gases are emitted. Forests are regulators of the local climate and absorb carbon.
Economic and social problems
Large businesses, officials, and corporate executives may not take the climate change that illegal logging is causing too seriously. However, the consequences will affect everyone. The threat of climate change hangs not only overproducing countries; in the long term, several problems related to the environment and the economy may arise. Illegal logging in the Amazon reduces rainfall in other regions, including China and the US Midwest. At the same time, in connection with this circumstance, the amount of precipitation in Africa and Northern Europe will potentially increase.
Illegal logging for many local communities means destroying their traditional way of life. The inability to receive income from other sources makes them dependent on logging corporations. Along with the way of life, tribal cultures are also lost. The economic damage lies in that governments do not receive income from taxes and duties since logging is illegal.
Satellite technology, software, and smartphones are helping ещ fight illegal logging worldwide. All this helps to timely detect areas where illegal activities are carried out and mitigate the consequences for the economy and the environment. Monitoring and adopting appropriate legal measures contribute to the conservation of forests and the protection of the environment.