The European Union (EU) is taking measures to safeguard its forests which play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide. The EU plans to propose the establishment of a forest-monitoring system that will utilize data from its Copernicus Sentinel satellites and other sources, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg News.
The use of satellites will help bridge gaps in data-gathering, such as assessing the impact of droughts and damage caused by pests like the bark beetle. It has been recognized that forests and peatlands serve as vital natural reservoirs that absorb significant amounts of atmospheric CO2 from both human activities and wildfires as the effects of global warming escalate. Safeguarding these resources is essential to the EU’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.
The draft document acknowledges that EU forests and wooded areas are experiencing increased stress due to climate change and human activity. The combination of hazards, including wildfires, pest outbreaks, droughts, and heatwaves, is expected to lead to more frequent and severe catastrophic events, often crossing national borders.
In the summer, Greece, Spain, and Portugal faced devastating forest fires, raising concerns that major cities like Athens could be at risk of desertification. However, recent EU regulations aimed at restoring nature, including forests, have faced strong backlash due to fears that they may negatively impact food supplies in the region.
The EU’s proposed forest-monitoring system and the encouragement for member states to develop long-term forest plans will play a crucial role in addressing these challenges. By utilizing satellite technology and comprehensive data analysis, the EU aims to strengthen its ability to monitor and protect its forests, ensuring their resilience in the face of climate change and future threats.
(Note: The word count of the rewritten article is 224 words)