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Space for nature

29 May 2014

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Information from Earth-observing satellites is being used to protect and sustainably manage our natural resources.

Located in Vietnam, on the eastern slope of the Annamite mountains, the Huong Son is a tropical forest subject to logging activities. While extracting timber from the forest is important to the local economy, unsustainable logging practices can negatively affect forest carbon sequestration, soil erosion, water recycling and, in turn, the local economy.

Despite the logging, the forest's biomass is still in relatively good condition. In order to maintain this, proper forest management is necessary.

Data from Earth-observing satellites have been used to map and measure the forest. Information about forest type and biomass has been combined with forest management plans, as well as market processes and revenues to allow forest management authorities, to assess which areas can provide the highest profit if logged, while maintaining a healthy forest.

Source: European Space Agency (ESA)

Image credit: ESA/GeoVille - Huang Son forest

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