Research and data on forest commodity supply chains and policy

satellite image comparison of timber harvest

Satellite images of timber harvests can provide insight into the legality and sustainability of timber harvests. That’s why TimberCheck™ has launched TimberSat™ – an easy way for you to get and compare satellite images of timber harvests.

Understanding where, and how wood products originate is critical in supporting good forest product companies. And supporting good forest product companies is critical for the conservation of forest cover.

Why use TimberSat™?

The wood you buy typically originates from three types of timber harvests. First, wood can originate from land that is under a select harvest forest management plan. That means a tree canopy still exists after logging. Second, wood can originate from a timber harvest that removes most, if not all of the canopy, but is then left to regenerate as forest. Third, wood can originate from logging that converts forestland to non-forest, more commonly known as “deforestation”.

So, how do we know? Comparative analysis of satellite images of timber harvests is helpful in understanding which type of harvest your product originated. Here’s a quick example: Try it yourself here

TimberSat™ can also be used to determine whether a timber harvest existed in the first place. A lot of illegal timber, or higher-risk timber, enters supply chains with official permits generated from fake timber harvests. The timber harvest exists only on paper so that official documentation can be created to transport illegal wood. TimberSat™ can quickly tell you whether evidence of logging exists or not.

This is just one of the tools available by TimberCheck™ to help you buy good wood. To learn more about illegal wood risks, check out the Timber Risk Map. Want to know when a legal risk-event occurs near a forest or a supplier? Create your own Timber Due Diligence Map. Not sure where your wood product originated? Start a WoodFlow.

Like this? Have a problem with it? Have other ideas? Please leave a comment below.

TimberCheck™ is a bundle of software and services built and run by a former tropical timber trader. It is not, nor does it, receive financial support from institutional organizations like NGOs or government agencies. TimberCheck™ works confidentially with buyers of forest products like you, to help buy good wood.

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