It has been noted by many people that more logging is being carried out in Estonia than in previous years. Now the suspicion has been confirmed by researchers - not only about Estonia, but all of Europe.
Researchers at the European Commission's Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, led by Guido Ceccherini, have analyzed detailed satellite monitoring data about the changes in the forest areas between the 2004 and 2018.
They write in the scientific journal Nature that the pace of logging has increased abruptly during recent years. The average area of logged forest in a year was 43 percent higher during the years of 2015-2018 than between 2004-2014.
The pace of logging increased the most in the Northern and Baltic countries but also in the Iberian Peninsula. Estonia stands out from the Northern and Baltic countries where the annual logging increased by 85 percent during the previously mentioned period.
With this result, Estonia exceeds Poland, which is in 2nd place among the Baltic Sea region countries. Poland's annual logging area increased by 58 percent, followed by Finland with 54 percent.
Overall, the highest increase in logging has been observed in Slovenia, which rose by 255 percent. Estonia was in third place with an 85 percent increase.
The study included 26 European countries, including the UK but excluding Cyprus and Malta.
The authors of the study wrote that today's accurate satellite imagery and the use of cloud computing provides an opportunity for big data processing, which result is independent of the official national statistics.
At the same time, they admit the disadvantage of their method is that it takes into account clear-logging more reliably, but thinner logging work may not always stand out in the picture.
Editor: Roberta Vaino