Satellite surveillance over trees in NSW, Australia

Satellite surveillance over trees in NSW, Australia

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Australia: The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, Australia, started the high-tech education campaign. Hence, landowners on the Northern Rivers need to think twice about cutting down trees without permission even on their own property. Satellite images are now being sent to local landowners who have illegally cleared vegetation.

So far 22 letters have been sent to people in this region, with more expected to be sent in the coming weeks, says Northern Star, an online news portal. But the department says recipients of the letters do not have to explain themselves. “The letters and satellite images are purely educational and advisory,” a spokeswoman said. “If you get a letter, it means we believe that no further action needs to be taken at this stage.”

The department’s director-general, Lisa Corbyn, said, “They hoped sending the satellite images to landowners would encourage compliance with native vegetation laws. We have been using satellite technology for some time to identify changes in vegetation cover that may warrant further investigation.”

The department says more 60 per cent of the native vegetation in NSW has been cleared, thinned or substantially disturbed. This has led to the extinction of 77 plant and animal species. It has also caused soil erosion, increased dry land salinity and a decline in water quality. But since the introduction of the Native Vegetation Act in 2003, more than 400,000 hectares of native vegetation has been conserved or rehabilitated on private land.

Source: Northern Star