10 years of the Forest Code: technologies help in respecting standards and preserving the environment

With solutions for monitoring activities and tracking machines, for example, the risk of invasions of protected areas during forest processes is much lower

10 years of the forest code

19 September 2022

One of the most important environmental laws in the country, the Forest Code in force (Law No. 12.651) completes a decade this year. With rules for the protection of native vegetation and forest exploitation, the legislation still faces several challenges for its effective implementation. However, technology has increasingly helped forest producers and managers to respect standards and the environment.

Activity monitoring and machine traceability solutions, for example, can assist with a detailed view of what happens on farms. "Using advanced sensors and software, it is possible to record the position of the machine and the process being carried out from second to second, obtaining detailed reports on the area worked, distance traveled, speed, productivity, among other relevant factors," says Claudia Garcia, Forest Contract Manager of Hexagon's Agriculture division — a company that develops digital solutions for agricultural and forestry operations.

In the ecological sphere, this type of technology is especially able to help to reduce the risks of invasion of protected spaces, such as permanent preservation areas (app) — detailed in the Forest Code for its importance for the preservation of water resources and biodiversity. This includes marginal ranges of watercourses, hill tops and mangroves, for example.

"We have a lot of demand for companies that work with forestry concerned with preserving the environment and complying with legislation so that there are no invasions in APP areas in their processes. With this type of solution, operators can see the limits of action on the display screen embedded in the machine and avoid any overtaking", reinforces Claudia. 

Furthermore, there are other gains associated with the monitoring of operational practices, such as verification and knowledge of managers about possible impacts that have occurred. As such, it is possible to carry out immediate interventions when necessary, as well as to develop a more assertive planning, including mitigating actions. Not to mention that, with detailed information in hand, it is easier to contribute environmental audits, confirming and validating good practices in the execution of activities.

This monitoring and management favors not only the environment, but also producers and forest managers, who no longer have penalties and save costs associated with moving to inspect operations, which can be monitored remotely. 

Technology enables control of applied inputs

In terms of sustainability, there are also technologies capable of assisting in the control of inputs applied in forest production, avoiding overdoses harmful to the environment. "When there is no control system in the application of inputs, an average working speed is considered as a calibration reference. Thus, to maintain the application in the recommended amount, it is necessary to perform all the planned activity at constant speed," explains the Forest Contracts Manager. But in practice, due to the relief conditions, the existence of antlers and the like, it is very difficult to maintain this rhythm.

Evaluating the procedures of a customer in the sector with a recommendation to apply inputs at 6 km/h, for example, Hexagon's Agriculture division identified that the average speed of the entire operation was 6.13 km/h, with a minimum of 0.47 km/h and maximum of 7.27 km/h. "That is, some places received a very low amount of input, needing new applications later, while others received very harmful overdoses," reinforces Claudia Garcia.

However, it is now possible to control this application so that the dosage varies according to the oscillation of the machine speed, resulting in a homogeneous application and very close to the recommendation in the entire forest area. "An estimate based on the actual analysis of a customer's scenario is that, in a conventional system, the deviation from the application of inputs is 2.20%, while in a controlled system it is around 0.62%," points out the manager.