Electronic tags are being used to combat deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil. A pilot project, developed by Instituto Ação Verde (Green Action Institute), has implanted RFID chips into 2,500 trees. The chip creates a unique identity for each tree, including age, location, species and carbon sequestration data.
The data provided by the chip can be accessed remotely, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the forest management process. For example, the date when a tree is mature enough to be harvested is easily available, as is information on the company responsible for it. However, the greatest potential benefit of the system is to reduce the high levels of illegal deforestation. The chip provides exact geo-location data on the tree at every stage during its lifecycle, from the forest through to shipment and delivery.
Future plans include the development of a website that shows a full inventory of the tagged trees on a virtual map. The site will be freely accessible, so that the public can become ‘watchdogs’ and help to protect Brazil’s natural habitat.
The project is being developed by Instituto Ação Verde, in association with CIPEM (Center of Industries of Wood Producers and Exporters in Mato Grosso) and the Secretary of State for the Environment.