Sunday, November 1, 2015

No. 883: Smart forestry is growing widespread (November 2, 2015)

Smart forestry that utilizes information technology to forestry is growing widespread. Sumitomo Forestry has decided to exert more energy in forest management consulting in alliance with Nakanihon Air Service and a data analysis firm. Laser beams are irradiates form a helicopter to know the number of trees and forest density, and data and photos are analyzed constantly. A database is constructed and submitted to local governments to help them formulate guidelines for their forest management policies. Using Geographical Information System (GIS) is also increasing popular. The University of Tokyo started to survey using GIS with Jitsuta that is a survey company in Matsuyama of Shikoku. With the help of 3D scan system, they measure the number and figure of trees with three times more operating efficiency than in the past. Kamaishi Forest Owner’s Association actually used this system and found that the data amount increased three to four times bigger than in the past. The system currently costs 180,000 yen per hectare, but the cost is expected to go down as it grows more popular.  

Japanese forest land is 25 million hectare, and the volume of wood is 4.9 billion cubic meters that is 20% bigger as compared with that of 10 years ago. The number of forest workers was about 70,000 people, about 30% smaller than in 1990. Smart forestry is expected to make up for the decrease of forest workers. Iwafuji Industrial developed a system to several trees simultaneously using wires. This system increased the transportable amount of trees from 300,000 cubic meters to 500,000 cubic meters per day.

What is smart forestry?

High school students are learning about forestry.

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