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Protecting Europe’s forests through the SWIFTT project

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Forests represent an ecosystem rich in natural resources, with an estimated 100,000 billion euros in benefits from these habitats, more than the world's GDP. However, global warming threatens these environments because of fires, storms and insect invasions. In the hope of protecting them, several organizations are setting up SWIFTT, a space surveillance service with artificial intelligence.

What is SWIFTT?

SWIFTT aims to monitor, map, and estimate the damage caused by the three main threats to forest health: storms, insect outbreaks, and wildfires.

The monitoring and mapping will include all European forests with the databases of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and 2 satellites. The SWIFTT algorithm will enable real-time monitoring with a machine learning model. In this way, it will learn to recognize and anticipate the creation and spread of threats to forests. Forest managers across Europe will be able to access SWIFTT maps through an API visible on web and mobile applications.

The consortium around this project plans to monitor and protect up to 39.6 million hectares of the world’s forests by 2030, saving foresters more than €468 million in monitoring costs and creating over 50 direct jobs.

When completed, SWIFTT maps will detail areas damaged by storms, insect outbreaks and fires. This will allow forest managers to act and allocate resources effectively for timely response. With SWIFTT’s sustainable, efficient and low-cost forest management tools, Europe will be able to combat climate change and preserve its biodiversity through healthier forests.

Who is behind this project?

A consortium of nine institutes is behind this project: Wildsense (FR), Space Research Institute (UA), University of Bari Aldo Moro (IT), Leibniz Universität Hannover (DE), Timbtrack (BE), Fürstliches Forstamt Bückeburg (DE), Groupe Coopération Forestière (FR), Rigas Mezi (LV), and Da Vinci Labs (FR).

To help finance the project, EUSPA/European Commission will grant 2.8 million euros over three years.

Through these different institutions, experts and professors in the data are here to ensure the right direction of the project. Among them we can mention: 

  • Andrii Shelestov is a professor of mathematical modeling and data analysis at the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.” 
  • Annalisa Appice, professor of research on data mining from event logs. She works at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.
  • Bohdan Yailymov is Head of the Department of Information Technologies and Systems at the Space Research Institute NAS Ukraine and SSA Ukraine. His main areas of scientific research are information technologies, big data processing, remote sensing data processing, satellite data classification and agricultural satellite monitoring.

Hanna Yailymova is a lecturer at the Department of Mathematical Modeling and Data Analysis of the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.”

The protection of forests prevents an increase of 4850 million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere yearly. In the face of climate change, the efforts of the whole world and new, more responsible technologies represent the hope for a habitable planet. That’s why, if you liked this article and if you consider a career in Data Science, don’t hesitate to discover our articles or our training offers on DataScientest.

Source : swiftt.eu

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