Screenshot of MörGIS system showing forest planning data in Finland

MörGIS system, Finland

MörGIS system is a critical and central tool for OTSO Forest Services, a private Finnish company operating and servicing to forest land owners, municipalities and other private or governmental authorities. MörGIS is used daily by around 400 users to manage over ten business processes, majority of these being automated in the GIS system to cover all forest management activities to help to serve OTSO Forest Service's customers in an efficient and modern way. The GIS system is fully autonomous and hence it can be carried along by the user (an OTSO expert) to do field work on-site.

Screenshot of Silvia GIS system showing forest data from Finland

Silvia, Finland

Silvia is a central GIS system for Metsähallitus for forestry and silvicultural operations, e.g. logging and forest road network maintenance planning. Metsähallitus manages commercial forests as multiple-use forests in which special emphasis is put on recreational use parallel to timber production.

Two kids fishing on a lake

Vesinetti, Finland

Vesinetti is an online platform, where research and monitoring information on lakes, rivers and coastal areas is exchanged between officials and water management networks of actors. Uploaded data can be used to generate HTML pages with the option to share a link, therefore enabling the use of the service for the general public interested about the topic. The project, which is implemented within the framework of the EU LIFE program, is based on extensive cooperation. More than 70 scientists and experts as well as local operators have been participating in the cooperation under the guidance of the Finnish Environment Institute.

Three pupils looking at a computer screen in class

PaikkaOppi, Finland

PaikkaOppi is a web-based learning environment designed to support geography, geographic information and environmental research education at primary and secondary schools. This learning environment offers diverse tools, data and tasks for teaching the basics of geographic information and studying environment (vicinity) by utilizing GIS methodology. The system allows pupils to acquire geographic information layers from different sources over standard interfaces and to prepare statistical and thematic maps. Besides pupils can digitize and add some their own objects, attachments and comments into the database, share the contents for wider audience, and to publish prepared work books.

Screenshot of Untamo tools for safety analysis of spent nuclear fuel in Olkiluoto

Safety Case for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel at Olkiluoto, Finland

Untamo Tools toolbox implements models for predicting likely outcomes of processes that drive changes in categories such as the terrain, surface and underground water bodies, sedimentation, vegetation, and human habitats, to name a few. Multiple scenarios can be defined to address uncertainties in long-term development paths, such as changes in the climate or human impact on the biosphere. Together, full automation and reliable auditing are the keys to carrying out assessment simulations successfully, traceably, and in a quality-controlled manner.

Screenshot of Metsäsoppi web service showing map and forest stand data

Metsäsoppi, Finland

Metsäsoppi was a web service, which enabled controlling forest management plans of the UPM contract customers. The service platform contained various geographic information layers, interfaces to UPM’s forest information system and diverse reporting features, which allowed presenting information about forests and service use statistics. The user could automatically print out forest management plans including thematic maps in pdf-format from the selected forest properties and stands. Metsäsoppi allowed making notes for forest taxation and print out tax return forms filled by the system. The system also allowed electronic submission of the forest tax clearance with OpenID Connect- and Katso-identification directly to the tax authority system in Finland.

Finnish birch forest

LiDAR based forest inventories for Finnish forest sector, Finland

Arbonaut has successfully conducted management level forest inventories covering more than 5 million hectares in Finland for the needs of public and private institutions including the Finnish Forest Center, Metsähallitus, UPM and Tornator. Assignments included field data sample design and collection, automatic stand delineation and estimation of forest attributes on stand and grid level based on LiDAR data and aerial imagery.

Mangrove forest in Ghana

Assistance for the forest preservation programme, Ghana

Arbonaut developed forest inventory methodology for the Forest Preservation Programme in Ghana. The Forest Preservation Programme, funded by the Japanese Government and receiving technical assistance from Pasco Corporation and coordinated by the Forestry Commission of Ghana, focused on land use and forest resource baseline mapping, GIS-based forest inventory system development, carbon stock assessment and capacity building. The LAMP approach was applied to estimate carbon from all the five carbon pools following the IPCC guidelines. These carbon pools include aboveground, belowground, deadwood, litter and soil, over a sub-national pilot area of 1.7 million hectares. ArboWebForest serves as one module of the inventory system. The assessment provides emission factors by forest types and the results have already contributed to the most recent Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA 2015) and development of the forest reference emission levels of Ghana.

A truck transporting raw material for bioenergy production in India

BEST - Sustainable bioenergy solutions for tomorrow, India

Funding from TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) Arbonaut developed a waste biomass potential map for the selected states based on a state-level land use map for five land use types and quantified uncertainty in relation to spatial distribution. In addition, a more detailed land use classification was developed for six smaller pilot areas, where the best available land use methodologies were studied and developed. The selected states were Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The total pilot area was larger than 730 000 km².

Green forest in Senegal

Piloting REDD+ Monitoring and Non-Wood Forest Product Value Chains to Mitigate Green House Gas Emissions in the Rural Communities of Bandafassi, Senegal

The project, funded by the Nordic Development Fund trough the Nordic Climate Facility (NCF), aims to support local entrepreneurship and reduce deforestation by introducing Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) as an alternative for agricultural production as the main livelihood in the rural community of Bandafassi. The underlying objective is to limit the impact of degradation factors on Niokolo Koba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and ensure the regulation of the flows of major rivers Niger, Senegal and Gambia. Bandafassi consists of 33 villages and 2,300 households. A REDD+ MRV methodology and system is developed and piloted in the project.

MRV Senegal

A group of experts in forest in Cambodia

Biomass Monitoring And Harvest Planning System For Sustainable Supply Of Renewable Energy, Energy and Environment Partnership Programme (EEP), Mekong, Cambodia.

Technologies introduced in the EEP project comprises of efficient charcoal kilns and assessment of the annual allowable biomass harvest integrating low cost, readily available mobile data collection and modern cloud computing tools. Both technologies actively engage the communities – with community-based forest monitoring and community-managed charcoal production centres – and also technology transfer to MIME and the Forestry Administration (FA), so new solutions can be easily and directly replicated to other forest management agents and charcoal producing communities outside the project communities.

Screenshot of FORMIS mobile solution for forest inventory data entry

FORMIS Mobile Solution for Forest Inventory Data Entry

Vietnam, Directorate of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Fund from Ministry of foreign Affairs, Finland

FORMIS supports MARD in sector-wide forest governance and management through developing a modern information system from central to local level, in order to provide accurate information for decision making for forestry sector at all levels. The project works at national level and in three target provinces: Thanh Hoá, Thua Thiên Hué, and Quang Ninh.

A group of people attending a ArboLiDAR training in forest

Training on GIS and remote sensing applications with integrated LiDAR data and ground-based inventories for forest biomass mapping, Tanzania

A 2-week training was conducted together with local trainers at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) premises in Morogoro, with the support of Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation Programme (NORAD). Arbonaut delivered lectures, demonstrations and practicals by three instructors about processing and integrating LiDAR data for forest biomass assessment following the ArboLiDAR process.

Forest in Terai Arc Nepal

LiDAR-Assisted Multisource Programme (LAMP) services for TERAI ARC LANDSCAPE, Nepal

The target of this project was to produce a high-resolution (LiDAR) based carbon stock map for 2.3 million hectares of landscape and establish a reference scenario for sub-national forest carbon project development. Arbonaut was managing LiDAR data acquisition, sampling design and calculating carbon stock for above- and belowground biomass. The success of this project allowed Nepal to access to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Landscape of tropical forest in Tanzania

Consultancy on national carbon monitoring center, Tanzania

The consultancy contract between Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway and Arbonaut was made concerning consultancy on National Carbon Monitoring Centre in Tanzania. A team of 7 consultants was assigned to review existing initiatives, to carry out stakeholder consultation and to prepare a Programme Document for the establishment of a National Carbon Monitoring Centre for Tanzania.

Expert giving consultancy on forest resource assessment project in Nepal

Consultancy on forest resource assessment project, Nepal

Arbonaut has provided consultancy to support Indufor Ltd in the framework of the FRA Nepal Project. Assignments included several services regarding the development of a LiDAR Team, planning and organising research activities and pilot studies to develop new methodologies, and also supervision and participation in processing, interpreting and use of Airborne Laser Scanning Data.

Deforested landscape from Ethiopia

Study of causes of deforestation and forest degradation in Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Arbonaut was working in an international consortium targeting the identification and prioritization of strategic options to address the causes of deforestation and forest degradation in Ethiopia. Assessment of the magnitude and impact of identified underlying causes and drivers of deforestation in the four regions of interest, spatial analysis of the LULC, assessment of the potential for increased carbon removal through reforestation and afforestation of previously degraded lands, future scenarios and strategic options to address the identified present and future causes of deforestation and forest degradation and for increased carbon removals, and a roadmap for the finalization of the national REDD+ Strategy and Synthesis of the project were some of the activities implemented.

Two men measuring field plots for LiDAR-based forest inventory in Russia

LiDAR based forest inventories adaptation, Russia

Arbonaut, in collaboration with the Perm State University and Center for Space Technologies, has been working for the adaptation of LiDAR-based forest inventory methods to fit the requirements of the Russian legislation and needs of the industry. Further Russian partners will conduct forest inventories, using ArboLiDAR tools and with the support of Arbonaut specialists.

LiDAR point cloud data from Swedish forest

LiDAR based forest inventories for Swedish industry, Sweden

Arbonaut has worked as a subcontractor for COWI to produce forest inventories for the largest pulp and paper companies in Sweden. COWI's trained inventory team is using ArboLiDAR tools to provide their customers with high quality inventories with the help of Arbonaut's user support.

Computer screen with Jahtipaikat GIS service for hunters

Jahtipaikat – GIS for hunters and game management, Finland

Jahtipaikat – hunting places in Finnish – is a pay web service including an online store, which was implemented for Metsämonex Oy. With the service, hunting clubs can manage their members' data, save and edit hunting leases as a hunting form for each property, as well as print out the necessary maps and reports. The purpose of the service was to support the club secretary in office, yacht master planning and hunters during a hunt.

The user could keep the due date of a book by adding and editing items such as hunting stand locations, meeting points or even game cameras location. There was also a mobile-optimized version of the service, which could take advantage of GPS functionalities to follow the hunt.

Arbonaut's team together with local experts in Ugandan forest

Preparation of REDD+ Strategy, Uganda

Arbonaut, together with the IUCN-Uganda, contributed to Uganda’s REDD+ Readiness Process by developing the Uganda’s National REDD+ Strategy for REDD+ Implementation. Arbonaut also developed the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for Uganda’s National REDD+ Program.

During the project, potential strategic options were identified and assessed to meet the international guidance and national safeguards. The assessment was compiled into a REDD+ Strategy Options Paper, which was utilized for full and effective consultation and for the preparation of the REDD+ Strategy and a Costed Action Plan. The Strategy was launched in November 2017 during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.

Virtual Forest 2.0 – Virtuaalimetsä 2.0

Arbonaut collaborates with Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Tapio Silva Oy to further develop Virtual Forest -tool for forest data 3D-visualization. Accessing raw material and planning the utilization of natural resources and the land-use requires new digital tools. There is a need to develop digital products and services for activating forest owners and for guaranteeing prerequisites for operations of forest livelihood.

Virtual forest is a new innovative tool that enables forest data 3D-visualisation and combines forest data with spatial data. Virtual Forest is currently in use in forestry education, but could be utilized also for land use planning, forestry and in timber procurement. During the Virtual Forest 2.0 -project Arbonaut will produce simulated maps that enable realistic visualization of forests. These maps include for example the properties of forest illustrated at the individual tree level, terrain shape based on accurate digital terrain model and forest visibility analysis.

Virtual Forest 2.0 -project is led by the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and financed by the European Regional Development Fund. More information can be found from the European Union EURA2014 -portal.

Fire protection crew in REDD+ pilot project in Guyana

Design and Implementation of REDD+ Pilot Activities, Guyana

Donor: Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)/ World Bank

Arbonaut, in partnership with FCG International Ltd, supported REDD+ Guyana to prioritize, design and implement three REDD+ pilot projects in consultation with stakeholders, consistent with the REDD+ Strategy and SESA for Guyana:
  1. Support to Implementation of Village Improvement Plans;
  2. Fire Protection Plans and Suppression of Fire; and
  3. Development of Alternative Income Projects for Forest Dependent Communities.

A Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system is included in the design and implementation of each project.

Two people discussing in the field in Rwanda

Development of A User-Friendly and Customized District Forest Management Plans (DFMP) Database, Rwanda

Donor: Enabel - Belgian Development Agency

Arbonaut, together with partner KartECO, assisted Rwanda Water and Forest Authority (RWFA) in the development of a user-friendly and customized DFMP database, reporting functionalities and mobile solutions for field work.

The system supports two types of forest management processes: District forest management plan (DFMP) for state and district users for creating and managing the DFMP and Simple forest Management Plan (SFMP) for private contractors for implementing the plans. DFMP database will enable national central (RWFA) and district level staff to design, implement, monitor and easily update district forest management plans for each district of Rwanda to replace Excel worksheets currently used.

VNFOREST experts working on computers during FORMIS II project

Improving the Forest Resource Monitoring System (FRMS) under FORMIS II, Vietnam

Donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland

The purpose of “Development of Management Information System for Forestry Sector – Phase II” (FORMIS II) project is to develop a fully integrated Management Information System (MIS) for sustainable management of forest resources and in this way contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the socio-economic development framework of Vietnam.

FORMIS II key activities are to create information standards and information sharing mechanisms for the forestry sector, to develop and maintain a centralized Information and Technology (IT) platform and portal within Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), to create capacity for forest related information management and to set up a Forest Information Centre/IT Unit within VNFOREST.

Arbonaut's experts with Department of Forest and Park Services personnel in Bhutan

Development of a Spatially-enabled knowledge base and Decision Support System, Bhutan

Donor: Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) / World Bank

Arbonaut and Green e-Solutions (sub-consultant) assisted the Department of Forest and Park Services, Bhutan (DoFPS) in the development of a Spatially-enabled knowledge base and Decision Support System (SDSS).

The SDSS will be a Geographic Information System (GIS) based system to facilitate informed, unbiased and expeditious decisions on forest clearance. The system will comprise of a spatial database and a decision support tool kit built from open source products. The SDSS once complete, will provide rapid appraisal of project proposal and deliver result of analysis based on a set criteria and rules within few minutes to support decision making in issuing forestry clearance.

Arbonaut's team together with local experts in forest in Uganda

Preparation of Safeguards Information System(SIS) for REDD+ implementation, Uganda

Arbonaut contributed to Uganda’s REDD+ Readiness Process by developing the Safeguards Information System(SIS) for REDD+ implementation. During the project, Uganda’s REDD Strategy implementation approach was further reviewed, showing how to practically roll out REDD+ across the country and how the overall approach to the ER Programs was to be conceptualised by the country.

In the same project Arbonaut also developed the Process Framework, Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework and Resettlement Policy Framework for Uganda’s National REDD+ Program. The SESA report and ESMF were also reviewed.  As Addendum to the project Arbonaut team developed Safeguards Instruments (PF and ESMF) for the Forests and Resilient Landscapes Project of Uganda.

Screenshot of forest cover loss platform of National Forest Authority in Uganda

Consultancy Services to Develop an Innovative Data Visualization and Sharing Platform on Forest Cover Loss

Donor: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Arbonaut has implemented a data visualization and sharing platform to monitor forest cover changes for the National Forest Authority in Uganda. The aim of the project was to harness new technology and to collect forest related information in one location, making it easy to share data with various stakeholders and to forecast future trends.

The developed platform contains the latest map layers showing the rate of land use change and forest cover loss on a selected pilot region in Uganda. The platform harmonizes the different data sources and facilitates decision making for effective forest management and prevention of deforestation and forest degradation.

Read more about the project from UNDP Uganda’s website:

Screenshot of ditch maintenance map layers from Finland

Nationwide drainage management database

Arbonaut developed a five-level system for project sustainability assessment in drainage management for Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd. in Finland. The organization has to take into account economical, ecological and social factors when assessing the sustainability of its forestry practices and operations. Multiple factors (groundwater, drainage, forest fertility, relics, ecological and conservation areas, etc.) were used as input layers and included in the analysis, producing data that aids customers’ decision-making regarding ditch maintenance operations.

In addition to analysing the risk factors, the provided analysis aids in identifying where the water level in the soil is close to the surface, and hence drainage management most urgently needed. Arbonaut analyzed the ditch depths for Metsähallitus Forestry, so that the areas that are in the most urgent need of maintenance could be identified resource efficiently. The ditch depth evaluation was done based on the digitized ditch lines and LiDAR data collected by the National Land Survey of Finland. The analysis was done in 8-meter intervals and presented with a three-level system, which helps in quick visual assessment of shallow ditch lines.

New Methods for Environmental Monitoring (Pro Quality Data)

New Methods for Environmental Monitoring (Pro Quality Data)

Arbonaut developed an operational system for assessing water quality in Finnish lakes and coastal waters, for the Data Fusion Project of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The system is used both for real-time monitoring of the water quality, as well as for redoing analyses of past events, such, as algal blooms. The implementation of the project included specification of the system, development of the system components for data download, harmonization, fusion and post-processing, and training of the client’s staff and customers for operation and maintenance. As a result, the data fusion system allows SYKE to estimate variables related to water quality proactively, automatically, and in real-time.

Read more about the project:

Forest-trafficability maps

Forest-trafficability maps

Seasonal fluctuations in wood harvesting volumes cause remarkable costs to the forestry industry. Limited terrain trafficability and non-existing information about the harvesting conditions are major obstacles in planning the wood procurement more effectively. Together with Metsäteho, its stakeholders, and the Finnish Forest Center, Arbonaut has been developing forest trafficability maps since 2014. The trafficability maps, which our team has been producing, provide information on soil load bearing capacity and enable better recognition of logging sites suitable for year-around wood harvesting. The maps ensure less damage to soil and the remaining trees, less unnecessary transfers of forest machinery, and the effective planning of logging operations in a timely manner.

Briefly, the method represents a static model that predicts forest trafficability, risk based on soil type, wetness, drainage conditions, and the effect of vegetation. The analysis is done utilizing airborne laser scanning data and a topographic database provided as free data by the National Land Survey of Finland. Predicted trafficability classes are presented as suitable harvesting seasons for a site, a classification the end users are familiar with. The method can be applied in other countries where input data for analysis is available.

Developing the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in Nigeria

Developing the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in Nigeria

Arbonaut signed a contract with the Nigerian Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (NFCPF) REDD+ Programme, Federal Ministry of Environment to lead a project aiming at the operationalization of the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in Nigeria. Together with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation as a sub-consultant, Arbonaut is assisting Nigeria in development of the Standard Operating Procedures and supports technical teams in testing the NFMS implementation. The project is financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of The World Bank.

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