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A unique monitoring system “KEDR” is introduced in the Far East

02 november 2015
“KEDR” (“Cedar”) forest monitoring system developed by a group of organizations under the leadership of the Amur Branch of WWF-Russia, can identify 52% of changes in forest canopy related to logging activities.

The history of modern forest management is now made in the Russian Far East. One of its bright pages is devoted to the development and implementation of “KEDR,” satellite system of forest monitoring, which is unique both for Russia and for the world community as well.  It is based on an algorithm of automatic analysis of medium resolution satellite images forwarded to the control station in real time mode. (Watch VIDEO)

The system analyzes satellite images and detects changes in forest canopy, which are then compared to the boundaries of the areas authorized for forest use. Thus, forest management agencies receive real time information about what is happening in the forest, and are able to respond quickly to forest violations, - comments Andrey Purekhovsky, coordinator of the AmurInfoCenter, GIS specialist at WWF-Russia Amur Branch, one of the developers of “KEDR” system.

At the meeting of Presidential Representative in the Far Eastern Federal District, held in July 2015, it was decided to test “KEDR” system in the field conditions. In August and September the testing was conducted on the territory of forestry units in Khabarovsky and Primorsky Provinces by specialists of WWF Russia Amur Branch and by Forest Management Departments of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces.

“The test results turned out to be impressive both for forestry workers and for GIS specialists. Out of 105 examined points where the system identified changes, real changes of the forest canopy were confirmed in 83 cases. Thus, the efficiency of the automatic algorithm makes 79%. It means that 4 out of 5 signals were confirmed. This includes all types of changes in forest canopy. In terms of logging, «KEDR» system managed to identify 52% of forest changes related to logging operations,” - said Dmitry Sychikov, coordinator of forest projects of WWF-Russia Amur branch in Khabarovsky Province.

At the same time, according to Dmitry Sychikov, the system registers logging sites as small as 0.45 hectares in size (the size of a football field) with an accuracy of 100%. It is very important to detect illegal logging sites, which are often small in size. Thus, in one case an illegal cut site of 64 sq. m (0,0064 hectares, which is the size of a 3 rooms apartment) was discovered with KEDR’s help. In some cases, the system was able to identify the logging of a single tree, so sharp it can be!

During field examination «KEDR» system helped to detect 11 cases of illegal logging and capture the equipment of illegal logging groups.

The results of field testing were presented at the meeting of Presidential Representative to the Far Eastern Federal District, held in Khabarovsk on October 30, in regards of “KEDR” system implementation. The representatives of forestry agencies from the federal and regional authorities have confirmed its effectiveness in detecting illegal logging sites.

“At the moment the majority of professionals have no doubt in “KEDR” effectiveness. Moreover, the potential of information technology development in forest management is huge: one of the meeting results was the proposal to form a united information platform in the sphere of management, protection and use of forests in the Far East. This is important for the conservation of valuable forests, the habitat of the Amur tiger”. - says Dmitry Sychikov.

According to WWF-Russia, «KEDR» system provides an opportunity both for professionals and for wider audience to participate in the forest change monitoring and conserving forest. An operator, an employee of the forest management agency, makes a decision on the signals received by the algorithm of automatic analysis of medium resolution satellite images and also uses the built-in data: forest management materials, high-resolution satellite images, data from drones, signals from special applications for rangers and for mobile applications for users. Thus, anyone can download the application to a smartphone or a tablet, and to report to the control station about violations of forestry legislation. «KEDR» system opens up opportunities for successful implementation of information technologies in forest management and for general improvement of the industry.


«KEDR» forest monitoring system in action
© WWF Russia
Anatoly Kabanets registers illegal logging and fills data in «KEDR» system
© WWF Russia
Dmitry Sychikov is checking illegal cut revealed by «KEDR» system
© WWF Russia
Confiscated illegal timber from Mataisky refuge in Khabarovsky Province detected with help of «KEDR» system
© Dmitry Sychikov / WWF Russia
Anton Biatov, volunteer of WWF Russia is filling in the form of revealed forest changes at one of the logging sites
© Anatoly Kabanets / WWF Russia
Forest ranger Andrey Kavera examines illegally cut timber
© Anatoly Kabanets / WWF Russia