How to Protect the Green Gold: OroraTech Helps Brazil’s Largest Paper Producer Klabin
Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest country by area, is a tropical paradise with sandy beaches and lush greenery. It is also known as one of the most productive countries for tree planting. The most popular trees are the eucalyptus and pine trees. Surprisingly, in Brazil, they grow much quicker than in their regions of origin – Australia and North America. The reason for that is Brazil’s ideal soil conditions and overall Brazilian climate. The trees are mostly used for pulp production (mainly for paper and packaging) and furniture. That is why the largest paper producer in Brazil, Klabin, is placing the protection of their green gold as their main priority.
Forests that are Three Times the Size of São Paulo City
Protecting forests from wildfires is difficult, especially if they cover large areas like Klabin’s forests. If combined, Klabins forest territory would be almost three times the size of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. In the past, the company relied on watchtowers that would provide 24-hour monitoring and observation for smoke signs or other irregularities. The local community acted as a support mechanism to the watchtower network, notifying Klabin’s fire brigades if a fire occurred.
However, this method proved challenging to fight wildfires in the long run for three main reasons. Firstly, the relatively long response time in identifying the heat source. Secondly, difficulties in tracking the exact location of the fire and, thirdly, unpredictable weather conditions at the time of fire occurrence.
“Once we started to expand and acquire new forest lands, the wildfire issue became even more pressing,” says Klabin’s Clewerson Frederico Scheraiber, geographical information system consultant. “Business expansion, combined with the dry weather periods in the region, led to an increase in the wildfires, and we decided it’s time to change our approach in firefighting. It was time to look into new technology and solutions.”
Old Problems, New Solutions
“The main reasons for choosing a space-based solution with thermal infrared data were the possibility to receive real-time notifications, the cost-effectiveness of the platform, and easy to use interface. We believe OroraTech’s Wildfire Service is a complete firefighting solution, the only one currently available in the marketplace,” says Scheraiber. ”Especially useful features are the ability to use meteorological data and export it into other platforms.”
Meteorological data proved especially crucial this year when many extreme weather events affected countries’ GDP. It is estimated that Brazil’s agricultural GDP declined by 8% in the first quarter of 2022 due to a severe drought in the country’s south caused by a rare triple-dip La Niña. Scientists warn that climate change will make Brazil’s southern region, an agribusiness stronghold, widespread crop losses more common.
Protecting the Green Gold
Brazil was the first Latin American country to include forest restoration in its Paris Climate Agreement commitment. Its leaders quickly began working toward revitalizing 12 million hectares (29 million acres) of forests by 2030. So, it’s no wonder the country is home to many commercial forests, including paper producer Klabin forests.
Klabin’s eucalyptus forests’ productivity is high – 54m3 ha per year, while Brazil’s national average is 35m3 ha per year. Their pine forests have a productivity of 39m3 ha per year, higher than the national average of 31m3 ha per year. Combining favorable natural conditions, such as rainfall and temperatures in the regions where the forests are planted, with forest protection programs helps to explain high productivity.
Klabin is the biggest paper producer, exporter, and recycler in Brazil. It owns over 284,000 hectares of planted forests and over 265,000 hectares of preserved native woodlands. It was the first company from the pulp and paper sector in the Southern Hemisphere to have its forests certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), attesting to the fact that the company runs its activities within the highest possible standards of environmental conservation and socioeconomic sustainability. Therefore naturally – forest – being the raw material of the company’s final products, is seen as the most valuable asset and resource. Fast and efficient protection of green gold is the core of the company’s values.
Need for a Connected Picture
In the early days of wildfire monitoring analog instruments dominated the picture but now the best results are achieved by combining different data sets.
“We recently integrated our camera monitoring system into Wildfire Solution. This will help us detect the fires even faster as we can identify the exact fire point. I am confident it will increase fire detection times, save our forests and minimize the danger to our forest employees, ” says Clewerson Frederico Scheraiber.
“Klabin is one of our first customers in Brazil,” says Mariana Stang, Business Development Manager at OroraTech. “Together, we have been successfully collaborating in developing Wildfire Solution, and as a result, we have launched new tools and improvements for the commercial forestry sector.”
“Forests, for me, are a personal story. For many years during my studies in forest engineering, I visited Klabin’s forests in the state of Santa Catarina to develop research projects and practical classes. That’s where I learned about Klabin’s approach to collaborating with research projects and prioritizing innovation,” concludes Mariana.