Unilever is to partner with U.S. tech company Orbital Insight on a pilot project to trace agricultural commodities sourced, especially palm oil. It claims to be using geolocation data and satellite imagery to identify the individual farms and plantations supplying the palm oil mills in its extended supply chain. The pilot project will be tested out at palm oils mills in Indonesia and soy mills in Brazil, working jointly with its established supply chain monitoring projects.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
Drones are increasingly being used in the fight against deforestation and illegal land clearing in some counties, including Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil trader Cargill has begun using drones to monitor fires near to its plantations and plan to use drones to identify protected forests. It is thought that local law enforcement agencies in Indonesia might also turn to drones as they currently rely on satellite imagery to identify hotspots but can often encounter delays in receiving information and poor resolution of images.
An expert from the Forest Survey of India (FSI) claims that recent surveys overestimate the extent of India’s remaining forests. The Ministry of Environment and Forests reports biennially on the state of India’s forests but the FSI who are involved in the process are openly critical of the satellite imagery technology used which they say does not have the required resolution to identify small-scale deforestation. Furthermore, the technology is unable to tell the difference between native forests and bamboo grown on cleared forests. It is thought that there are particular problems with deforestation and a lack of response from the state government in Meghalaya state in northeast India.
A remote sensing company has signed a deal with the Brazilian space agency to deliver near real-time satellite imagery to monitor forest clearing in the Amazon rainforest and target illegal logging as it happens. Illegal loggers have grown smart to the current monitoring system by clearing smaller areas to evade detection but the new system will provide a much higher level of granularity in its imaging. Such technology is seen as important in the development of an effective REDD+ programme.