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Asia Pulp & Paper sees decrease in Indonesian forest cover loss with Canadian technology

March 1, 2019  By P&PC Staff

March 1, 2019 – Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) says it has witnessed a decrease in natural forest cover loss in the Indonesian rainforest where its pulp suppliers harvest ever since implementing a Canadian-made, space-based monitoring solution.

MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, developed the Forest Alert Service (FAS), which APP is using to track forest cover loss in conservation areas and ensure that conservation forest areas were not cleared in connection with the production of their products.

In less than three years since implementation, APP reports the losses of natural forest cover in their suppliers’ forest concessions has dropped from between five or six per cent to 0.06 per cent in the conservation area of more than 600,000 hectares.


The strategic partnership between APP and MDA launched in 2016, enabling APP’s pulpwood suppliers to respond rapidly to detected forest changes. Monitoring land cover changes in production areas is essential for efficient operational planning and, the company says, minimizes illegal encroachment.

Employing MDA’s RADARSAT-2 satellite, FAS provides near real-time space-borne services to deliver critical and timely information to APP, typically within two days of data collection. Every 24 days, the system monitors approximately 3.8 million hectares, which also comprises APP’s pulpwood suppliers and the Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve. RADARSAT-2 penetrates clouds and precipitation to detect subtle forest disturbances in an area as small as 0.5 hectares.

The RADARSAT-2 satellite has global high-resolution surveillance capabilities and provides frequent re-visit imaging options.

The information provided is ideally suited to markets that require either broad-area monitoring or targeted surveillance, such as maritime surveillance, defence and security, land use management, agriculture, disaster management and natural resources.

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