Digital technologies are revolutionizing forestry and wood processing industries around the globe. The returns on investment for Precision Forestry technologies are high, comparable to the shift from animal-powered or manual harvesting to mechanized processing. Corresponding gains can be found from digital forest inventory, advanced simulation and optimisation platforms, and improved wood supply chain management.
What if you could get more with less?
From generic management models to Precision Forestry
In the forestry sector many operators still rely on frameworks built on manual and analog processes. This leads to inaccurate data and models, simplified plans with generic management prescriptions, and inefficiencies in the supply chains.
Even the digital forerunners are facing challenges both in improving data quality and in making use of data incoming from various sources along the supply chain. The need to balance between diverse objectives for commercial performance and sustainability goals is also posing new types of challenges for the systems in place.
Precision Forestry approach builds on accurate resource data and learning models, resulting in site-specific management and enabling optimisation with varying objectives at different levels.
“This is a large step forward.”
– Tõnis Tõnisson, Forest Resource Manager, Tornator Eesti
Benefits for forest owners, timber buyers, nature and climate
With current inventory technologies data can be obtained at tree-level with reasonable costs, which enables modeling at the same resolution. Tree-level simulation and optimisation results in accurate forecasts at timber assortment level, introducing various benefits for forest managers, such as;
- Increased productivity and higher wood yields
- Increased return on investment
- Decreased uncertainty in asset transactions/valuations
And timber buyers;
- Value-based timber pricing
- Lower delivered costs for wood
- Shorter raw material lead times
Significant beneficiaries are also the nature and climate through;
- Improved resource efficiency (producing more from less and relieving pressure on natural forests)
- Improved carbon balance of forestry (maximal carbon sequestration through yield maximization and decreased emissions through optimised operations)
In order to optimise a wood supply chain, one needs to have real-time visibility to the harvesting and transport operations.
Our People to Help You
Head of Precision Forestry Servicesatte.email@example.com +358 503663233
Atte is heading our Precision Forestry Solutions. He utilizes our software to produce a variety of services for our clients. He has versatile skills from the field of forest resource management, silviculture, wood procurement and forest industry. In addition to academic background from forest resource management, he has worked as an expert in several forestry and forest industry related assignments in various countries.
Principaljussi.firstname.lastname@example.org +358 400382364
Jussi is one of the founding partners. He has extensive experience in the field of biomass resource analysis and sustainable utilisation optimisation. Having earned his PhD from the Department of Forestry in University of Helsinki in forest management planning, Jussi has led the teams on projects in five continents to put the research into practise.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between strategic, tactical, and operative forest management planning, and how they can be covered with Precision Forestry software?
From the forest owner’s point of view, the purpose of forest management planning is to support the owner in managing the forest according to the owner’s values and objectives.
In strategic planning, the time horizon for planning typically spans over many decades. The purpose of the strategic planning process is to decide the objectives of forest management, list the management alternatives and find the optimal management alternative. Typical decision-making aspects in strategic planning are sustainability of timber production, maximizing net present value, growing the standing stock, maintaining the forest as a carbon sink, and protecting the habitats that the forest provides for a wide range of organisms. Software solutions, like IPTIM Assets, can support the strategy development with optimized long-term scenarios that reveal how the forest develops with different management strategies.
Tactical planning aims to implement the objectives decided in the strategic plan. A tactical plan is usually formulated for 3-15 years and answers question about what operations should be done, where, and when. When it comes to the selection of harvest or silviculture timing, it is important to take into account both the attributes of the management unit, but also its location. An optimized tactical plan seeks to select the timing and intensity of treatments in the best possible way for the individual management unit, but also to minimize operational costs by forming harvest clusters that are treated at the same time. Balancing the management of individual and surrounding management units requires spatial optimization tools, like IPTIM Operations.
Operational planning puts the tactical plan into practice. This includes for example allocating worksites for contractors and monitoring the work execution. Our digital solutions can support the communication with field workers (IPTIM Mobile), but also enable automated monitoring of machine fleet (IPTIM SupplySense).
Why should one use tools for strategic planning?
Strategic forest planning is needed to ensure sustainable use of forest resources, but also to make sure the tactical and operational planning are aligned with forest owner’s objectives/business targets in long term.
To be able to build a bio-economy that is biologically, socially, and economically sustainable, one needs to clear three hurdles: mapping, planning, and monitoring.
- First, you need to know the location and the quantity of the resources.
- Second, you need to understand how they change over time and plan how they will be utilized.
- Third, you need to be able to monitor whether things are going according to your plans. And finally, you need to start all over again and apply what you’ve learned along the way.
A forest’s long life cycle puts strategic planning at the heart of its management. Key stakeholders require plans which feed on vast amounts of data and delineate the most sustainable and profitable pathway for the future.
IPTIM Assets enables users to quickly generate optimized forest management plans, compare alternative scenarios, and manage all of their forest data in a single platform. Customized reports and projections of key variables allow our clients to analyze each strategic option at the depth they require. IPTIM Assets is also your go-to tool for easy, yet precise, forest valuations.
What are the future technologies to make Precision Forestry a standard in forest management?
Forest inventory methods are taking steps in moving from sample-based inventory into the full enumeration of the tree population, which increases the accuracy of the standing stock estimates and can be used for a variety of new analyses. Full enumeration is possible by utilizing airborne laser scanning (ALS) or drone photogrammetry (DAP). With tree-level information, silvicultural operations can be planned with higher precision, but also the management units can be automatically delineated based on individual tree attributes.
Simulation and optimization solutions have been commonly used in strategic forest planning. With the emerging new software tools, optimization can be used also at the tactical and even operational levels. When optimization tools are integrated into the daily data management platform, optimization becomes part of daily routines.
Policy-making or investment decisions can require scenario analyses covering vast and remote forest areas, or even complete countries or continents. Forest inventory and planning can be scaled to a whole new level by using space-borne data sources. The appearance of Sentinel satellites and a variety of small commercial satellites has brought down the costs to acquire even daily high-resolution satellite imagery, which can be used for monitoring of forests.