Roles of Digital Technology in China’s Sustainable Forestry Development

International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 1745-2627, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 94 – 101

Lina Tang; Guofan Shao; Limin Dai

“China has the fifth largest forest area in the world and any change in China’s forestry development will have inevitable impacts on global ecological sustainability. China has undergone excessive logging of natural forests and also made tremendous efforts in afforestation during the past half century. China’s forestry is now going through a variety of transitions and several forestry programs have been implemented to drive forestry transitions. The goal of these actions is to protect ecological services of forests and sustain China’s forestry development. These forestry programs are spatially sophisticated and cannot be successfully implemented without accurate and transparent forest/forestry information. A variety of digital technologies, including forest modeling, remote sensing, geographic information systems, global positioning systems, and visualization, have been applied in handling diverse information in China’s forestry. Digital forestry is not just a theoretical concept in China. Our digital forestry experience in northeast China suggests that digital technology is both usable and useful in China’s forestry development. Digital technology is playing an important interactive role in China’s top-down forestry administration system. The analog-to-digital transition in technology is expected to lead to the success of forestry programs and forestry transitions in China.”

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