Emma SOLOMATINA, (c)
Boreal forests (from Latin boreas - north) occupy a total area of 1.2 bln hectares which amounts to about 30 percent of woodland on our planet. Russia accounts for nearly 2/3 of these forests (commonly known as taiga) with the rest falling to the share of North America (Canada and Alaska) and also Europe (mainly the Scandinavian countries). Being located in remote and mostly sparsely populated regions, there forests are exploited not as intensively as their neighbors in the moderate and/or tropical zones. And that means that the direct impact of what specialists call the anthropogenic factor (such as logging or lumbering) on these forests is much weaker. The future of these forests is associated with their importance as the source of timber and lumber for industrial uses and also as "storages" of carbon (according to expert assessment these forests contain from 10 to 17 percent of its world resources).
The problems of satellite monitoring of boreal forests were on the agenda of an international meeting of scientists convened in the autumn of the year 2000 at the Russian research center Akademgorodok in Novosibirsk. The conference was conducted by the Institute of Computer Technologies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy, NASA and members of the START Program (Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training) within the framework of GOFC (Global Observation of Forest Cover) Project. As was pointed out by the Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee , G. Rivin, Dr. Sc. (Phys.&Math.), the project was launched back in 1997, with the view to improving the standards of satellite monitoring of forests and supplying a wide range of users with authentic and up-to-date information on related problems. The studies focused on the characteristics of forest cover in different regions, breaches thereof, monitoring of forest fires and mapping, bio-physical processes in woodlands, insects and pests.
The Russian side of the project was represented by scientists and experts from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and several other cities, including three academicians: Ye. Vaganov - Director of the Sukachev Institute of Forestry (RAS, Siberian Branch), A. Isaev -Director of the International Institute of Forestry (RAS, Moscow) and Yu. Shokin - Director of the Institute of Computing Technologies (RAS, Siberian Branch, Novosibirsk). The conference was attended by experts from various American and European universities, federal forestry services, government and international agencies.
The agendas of the plenary and specialized sessions covered a whole range of problems associated with the monitoring of boreal forests, such as current standards of data provision for the management of boreal forests resources (reports by Canadian scientists); forest cadastres and carbon budget; the role of dry land in climate modelling (reports by Russian participants). Participants from the University of Virginia, USA, formulated requirements for the data provision in monitoring the restoration of vegetation in boreal forests after disturbances.
In the focus of general attention were reports siting the results of studies and observations in various specific areas, such as "Visualization of Boreal Ecology and Uses of Radar Imagery", "Monitoring Forest Dynamics in North-Eastern China within GOFC Framework", "Fires and Fire Regimentation in Central Siberia", "Uses of Digital Imagery Technologies for Ecological Monitoring of Territories" and "Satellite Monitoring in Yakutia" to mention but a few. In the focus of general attention were also comprehensive reviews such as that by Yu. Shokin and A. Fedotov "Modem Information-Telecommunication Technologies and Their Applications in the RAS Siberian Branch" and a paper by G. Chernyavsky "Prospects of Using Russian Space Satellites for Forest Monitoring".
The Conference helped to establish a number of essential links and contacts, with many of the participants getting invitations for future cooperation from their foreign counterparts.
Financial backing for the forum was provided by NASA, GOFC, START (the latter - under the UN auspices) and the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research.
Science in Siberia (Nauka v Sibiri), 2000
Prepared by Emma SOLOMATINA
Опубликовано на Порталусе 08 сентября 2018 года
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