Forests Can Change the World
Sustainable Forest Management Using Japanese Satellite Technology
Forests play various roles: nourishing many life forms, generating oxygen, protecting the soil, and producing water. But deforestation continues to be an issue worldwide. It is even being said that they will have completely vanished 100 years from now if the current situation remains unchanged. In response to this threat, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has made a move. JICA is a public agency that provides bilateral aid as part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). With the theme ‘Forests can change the world’, JICA has been supporting developing countries in their initiatives related to sustainable forest management in association with JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. One of their supporting activities is the development and exploitation of the ‘JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics (JJ-FAST)’ using the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), the JAXA satellite launched in 2014. The satellite is equipped with radar sensors that can even penetrate clouds to observe forest changes, making it possible to monitor deforestation all year round.
This system is of tremendous value for the monitoring of forest resources and zoning activities. The program presents on-site investigations carried out in Indonesia and Peru, reports on the international conference held in Japan to consider how forests can change the world, and introduces the forefront of JICA’s initiatives that are now proceeding on a global scale.