Forestry Journal:

This piece is an extract from our A View from the Forest (previously Forestry Features) newsletter, which is emailed out at 4PM every Wednesday with a round-up of the week's top stories. 

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LIKE most industries, there is little forestry loves to tout more than a buzzword. If it'll look good on a powerpoint, it'll sound even better in the lexicon, at least that's what the conventional wisdom seems to be.

One of those buzzwords – often found on Forestry Journal's pages – finds itself front and centre today as the world takes a brief moment to appreciate its woodlands and their multitude of benefits.

On the 11th United Nations' International Day of Forests, the central theme is 'Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World', and that feels timely.

A statement from the UN read: "The battle against deforestation requires new technological advancements.

"With 10 million hectares lost annually due to deforestation and approximately 70 million hectares affected by fires, these innovations are essential for early warning systems, sustainable commodity production, and empowering Indigenous Peoples through land mapping and climate finance access.

"Additionally, ecosystem restoration, including reforestation efforts, can significantly contribute to climate mitigation and enhance food security while pushing the boundaries of sustainable wood products. and enhance food security while promoting sustainable wood products."

Whether it be overcoming the problems of wildfires, finding a way of ensuring a more certain yield, or even transforming the way in which harvesting is done in the future, 'innovation' is key to a thriving forestry industry, and an opportunity it grabs with both hands.

To mark the International Day of Forests 2024, we're taking a look at some of the innovative ways the world's foresters are building an industry for the future.


Forestry Journal:

While you may think of drones as simply a fancy way of filming, their use in forestry has becomingly increasingly common in recent years, carrying out a wide variety of tasks.

This includes surveying, plant health monitoring, and even wildfire detection. The possibilities seem endless.

In a recent high profile case, an estimated 20 million birch seeds were scattered on the hillside above the A83 thanks to Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) use of drone technology.

Vertical tree farming

Forestry Journal:

With the promise of growing saplings up to six times faster than a conventional tree nursery, indoor vertical farms seem like a no brainer. At least that's one of the natural conclusions most reached after the results of a recent Scottish trial were shared.

Run between FLS and Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), the test found the trees could reach up to 50 cm in about 90 days. A similar level of growth could take up to 18 months in a field.

Wildfire detection systems

Forestry Journal: West Dunbartonshire was of the worst-affected local authorities in terms of wildfires during the

When it comes to threats posed to the world's forests, the growing prevalence (and danger) of wildfires is chief among them. Brought about by rising temperatures, they have torched woodlands from Scotland to Lebanon, and taken lives too.

One of the most innovative solutions for this problem comes from a network of solar-powered gas sensors equipped with AI. In a recent case, the Silvanet system, developed by Germany’s Dryad, detected a wildfire in Lebanon within 30 minutes of ignition, allowing the blaze to be extinguished with minimal damage.