Sustainable Use and Smart Management of Forests

Bayram B., Bakirman T., Kuzu S. L., Akpinar B., Altuntaş S., Ilhan H. O.

TÜBİTAK International Bilateral Joint Cooperation Program Project, 2023 - 2025

  • Project Type: TÜBİTAK International Bilateral Joint Cooperation Program Project
  • Begin Date: January 2023
  • End Date: January 2025

Project Abstract

SILVA NYMPHA proposes a novel approach for sustainable and multifunctional use and management of forests to maximise their contribution to increasing the quality of forest ecosystem services by analysing the whole forest value chain models as well as resilience and impact indicators, capacity building of local/public authorities on preparedness strategies (e.g., early diagnosis of forest threats to avoid soil habitat, microbiological optimisation) for biodiversity prevention in the EU and pro-EU level by analysing current strategies, technologies, and governance systems, assessment of future impacts of strategies. SILVA NYMPHA aims to fill the gap in the forest management process, which is needed for broader analytics strategy development and to infuse into planning, decision, and learning processes. Our proposal aligns actions with management objectives, enhances transparency and accountability, improves decision support, creates learning opportunities, and ultimately improves the quality of forest ecosystem services. Considering that more than half of global GDP is dependent on nature and the services it provides; in line with the EU objectives and vision, SILVA NYMPHA has aimed to develop strategies, new methods, and techniques that consider the future effects of climate change and its effects on the forest ecosystem and biodiversity.

Apart from current research & development studies and projects, SILVA NYMPHA proposes an integrated solution for forest management which has main components such as multi-scale, sustainable monitoring and early diagnosis of biotic-abiotic threats using state-of-the-art AI techniques; AI-based extraction of tree features from multispectral 3D point cloud data which will be derived by integration of multispectral camera and mobile lidar system; AI-based processing of multi-sensor data; development of forest system models using machine learning and deep learning. Proposed AI-based solutions will provide sustainable data resources for the interoperability platform and the web-based GIS application.

Competent and efficient project management is a crucial task to achieve the objectives of the SILVA NYMPHA project, which involves a network of academic partners (YTU, DUZCE, WUST, and FRI), innovative SME (TAX), governmental body (OGM) and one large industry (VES). This structure will provide solid foundations and tools for efficient monitoring of the quality of deliverables and project outcomes. At the Steering level, the following bodies will be employed: Project Coordinator (PC), Steering Committee (SC), and Data Processing Officer (DPO). At the Operational level, there will be a Work Package and Task leaders to coordinate the smooth execution of the project.

Partners will complement each other in terms of expertise, know-how, strategy and network in order to reach a fully functional system. Having pilots in 2 different countries will help SILVA NYMPHA to test the functionality of the integrated forest management solution in different forest ecosystems and to investigate applications according to other geographical conditions. The lack of integrated sensor and information systems for forest monitoring and management requires better cooperation, resource coordination, and knowledge transfer among organisations and different stakeholders (e.g., public actors, practitioners, etc.) following the same standards and principles. Therefore, the vision of the current project will guide all levels of government, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to biotic and/0r abiotic forest threats. VES and TAX will add value to the academic knowledge gathered by YTU, DUZCE WUST and FRI whereas OGM will help to disseminate and exploit the technology as a product.

As a broader impact of the project, SILVA NYMPHA will demonstrate how a novel multi-stakeholder forest monitoring and ecosystem services system will be able to deliver end-to-end services and solutions. It will provide efficient mechanisms to evaluate climate change, biotic-abiotic based threats as a useful decision support tool for sustainable biodiversity, helping to choose the best strategies for adequate precautions and establishment of forest management platform.