Monitoring forest health

Poland

Forests support the livelihoods of more than a billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide and provide paid employment for over 100 million people. They are home to more than 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and help protect watersheds that are critical for the supply of clean water to most of humanity. Climate change, however, poses enormous challenges for forests and people.

Poland produces around 40 million cubic meters of timber every year, which typically requires the felling of around 40 million trees. The majority of the forestry production comes from plantations. These are more vulnerable to climate change and might endanger wood production.

The crowddroner, Michal Praski, captured this map to help forestry owners monitor the health of the trees and make decisions on what to harvest and what to keep. Such insights are very important for forest owners, especially if the forest is large and cannot be monitored manually. The base image is an orthomosaic map that can be processed to provide information that is helpful for a variety of stakeholders.

In this map, we can notice the changes that took place in this forest during the year. In the green area, the trees are growing densely, they are strong, and they do not need to be cut down. In contrast, the red area contains weak and withered trees that the forestry company must remove. Companies need to dispose of lower quality wood quickly as it loses value with time, unlike healthy and strong wood. The reason why this happens is due to climate change and diseases that are affecting the trees. Similar problems are happening in many places in Poland which used to be very rare in the past!

Similar problems are happening in many places in my area, due to climate warming, more and more tree pests and diseases appear in Poland, which have never occurred here before. With my work, I try to find infected trees as soon as possible, which need to be cut down quickly before huge areas of the forest are infected.

Michal Praski, drone operator

Michal Praski

Drone operator

Michal is a Crowddroning operator based in Poland. He submitted these images and maps as part of the Drones 4 sustainable forestry and urban green challenge by GLOBHE to highlight local community challenges in forests in his home country. Michal is an experienced drone operator and a valuable member of GLOBHE's Crowddroning community.