Palmolie-industrie wil met radarbeelden ontbossing tegengaan

Een coalitie van tien grote palmolieproducenten en kopers werken samen om de ontwikkeling van een nieuw, publiek beschikbaar radargebaseerd bosbewakingssysteem, Radar Alerts for Detecting Deforestation (RADD), te ondersteunen en te financieren. Deze samenwerking tussen Bunge, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Mondelēz International, Musim Mas, Nestlé, Pepsico, Sime Darby Plantation, Unilever en Wilmar zal het voor bedrijven en andere belanghebbenden veel gemakkelijker maken om ontbossing in bijna reële te zien gebeuren -tijd en met grotere nauwkeurigheid. Met deze informatie kunnen ze sneller vervolgacties ter plaatse mobiliseren en werken aan het verbeteren van de duurzaamheid van de toeleveringsketens van grondstoffen.

Snellere detectie van ontbossing

Het RADD-systeem wordt momenteel ontwikkeld voor Indonesië en Maleisië. Voorlopige resultaten voor Indonesië en Maleisië geven aan dat het nieuwe RADD-systeem enkele weken eerder tropische ontbossing kan detecteren dan optische systemen.

Ontwikkeld door Wageningen University en Satelligence, en gefaciliteerd door het World Resources Institute, zal het RADD-systeem bestaande publiek beschikbare monitoringtools uitbreiden die afhankelijk zijn van optische satellietbeelden, die kunnen worden uitgesteld als wolken het zicht op bossen belemmeren. Door het gebruik van radargolven kan het nieuwe systeem door wolken dringen en informatie over bosveranderingen verzamelen zonder te worden beïnvloed door wolken of zonlicht.

Meldingen voor ontbossing openbaar maken

Wat RADD uniek maakt, is dat het het eerste radargebaseerde bewakingssysteem van deze schaal is dat meldingen over ontbossing openbaar maakt. Zodra het systeem compleet is, zijn de meldingen beschikbaar op Global Forest Watch en Global Forest Watch Pro en wordt de methodologie achter de meldingen gepubliceerd.

Hoog ruimtelijk detail

Het nieuwe systeem maakt gebruik van vrij beschikbare radargegevens van de Sentinel-1A- en B-satellieten van het Europees Ruimteagentschap, die om de zes tot 12 dagen in een baan om de aarde draaien. Deze satellieten bieden hoge ruimtelijke details die ook de detectie van kleinere clearingsgebeurtenissen zullen verbeteren.

Tijdens de ontwikkeling van het RADD-systeem in de komende twee jaar ontvangen partnerbedrijven waarschuwingen over gedetecteerde ontbossing en zullen ze cruciale feedback geven om het systeem te verbeteren. Het open karakter van het systeem zal bedrijven – plus overheden, maatschappelijke organisaties en betrokken belanghebbenden – in staat stellen bossen te monitoren met behulp van dezelfde informatiebron en normen.

Participating companies about this unique collaboration:

Robert Coviello, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & Government Affairs, Bunge:
“Bunge has long believed in the power of technology to help create a more sustainable future. That’s why we’re proud and excited to see our long-term partnership with Satelligence extended to Global Forest Watch to improve transparency and enable a more sustainable supply chain.”

John Hartmann, Agriculture Supply Chain Sustainability Lead, Cargill:
“Cargill is committed to working with industry partners to spur innovation and drive meaningful change to end deforestation. We are delighted about RADD’s introduction to the palm oil sector and look forward to developing credible, real-time data that is publicly accessible to enhance our ability to act on deforestation alerts.”

Dr Gotz Martin, Head of Sustainability Implementation, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd:
“GAR has always believed in harnessing technology to spur excellence in agri-business. This pioneering initiative will support and boost our efforts in working towards full traceability to the plantation, as we will now be able to see the real-time picture from above while working with our suppliers on the ground towards responsible palm oil.”

Jonathan Horrell, Director Global Sustainability, Mondelēz International:
“Technology is fast-evolving to enable sector-wide, near real-time monitoring of the palm sector. Sustainable palm oil production benefits everyone and tools like this bring it within reach.”

Olivier Tichit, Musim Mas Director of Sustainable Supply Chain, Musim Mas:
“RADD is a welcome addition to our supply chain monitoring “toolbox.” Its technology will enable early and precise identification of deforestation. The open nature of RADD allows companies, governments and the public to access accurate, timely information. We welcome the new level of transparency RADD brings to the oil palm sector.” 

Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé:
“We take an integrated approach in addressing the risks of deforestation, combining tools like certification, supply chain mapping, on-the-ground verification and satellite monitoring. We are pleased to support the development of publicly available forest monitoring system like RADD as it will bring accountability and transparency across the industry.”

Niels Wielaard, Director, Satelligence:
“We are very pleased to work together to pinpoint the highest risk areas and focus engagement and mitigation where it is needed most. RADD will enable companies to focus better on what really matters: making deforestation-free sourcing decisions.” 

Dr. Simon Lord, Chief Sustainability Officer, Sime Darby:
““People around the world are concerned about the rapid rate of deforestation and regrettably the oil palm industry is often associated with it. As producers of sustainable palm oil, Sime Darby Plantation understands this concern and believes that traceability in our supply chain is necessary to draw the line on deforestation. While we have developed our own traceability tool called Crosscheck, we know we cannot do it alone because change requires an industry-wide effort. We believe that working together with like-minded partners on the development of RADD will ensure we move towards a sustainable future for our world and the industry.”

Petra Meekers, Head of Sustainable Sourcing, Unilever:
“We are committed to developing a range of technologies that will enhance and accelerate our efforts to address potential issues within our supply chain. Better radar monitoring is an essential piece of this puzzle. We always aim to be the first to know and the first to act, so we are pleased to be supporting advanced tools that will make risks known to us even sooner.”

Johannes Reiche, Assistant Professor Radar Remote Sensing, Wageningen University:
“I am very excited to be part of this unique project, and with this to support transparent forest management. Advancing our radar and machine-learning methods to build an operational monitoring system that detects deforestation more quickly and accurately is a great challenge. Providing radar-based deforestation alerts as a public good will help to further increase transparency of unsustainable and illegal activities in tropical forests.”

Perpetua George, General Manager – Sustainability, Wilmar
“Monitoring over 14.75 million ha of supplier’s concessions is challenging and resource-intensive. We look forward to the new RADD system helping us detect deforestation activities with accuracy and speed. This will in turn strengthen monitoring methods and responses to take us another step towards a deforestation-free supply chain. Such a collective undertaking by industry players is crucial and will achieve far better outcomes in translating monitoring results to action.”

Anne Rosenbarger, Commodities Manager, World Resources Institute:
“We’re thrilled to see a major group of companies coming together in this way to create a collective change. Uniting around this shared, cutting-edge monitoring system will allow for more efficient use of resources, create more streamlined conditions for companies to follow up and ultimately help prevent further deforestation.”

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