Me chame no WhatsApp Agora!

Eduardo Moré de Mattos

Geplant Sustainability Director


Forestry educational

Precision Forestry, Forestry 4.0 and Digital Forestry... after all, what do these terms have in common? We follow the development of new terms, technological jargon and the arrival of the so-called "digital transformation". Reflecting on the terms, I realized that the biggest thing in common is the word forestry.

Thinking about "forestry" before thinking about "digital" prints a clear prioritization of the target object of transformation (tree cultivation) over the supporting object (digitization). We must agree that no one will miss sophisticated control systems if there is a full supply of wood. Not the opposite, no. After all, the support of every forest-based business is the production of wood availability. Despite digital transformation, the processes that govern tree growth are immutable. Photosynthesis doesn't care about connectivity, ants don't stop working because they were mapped by remote sensing, the bush doesn't need to open a call to germinate and grow, among many other suitable analogies to illustrate the topic.

That said, we cannot close ourselves off to the new. Just looking in the rear view mirror and saluting the glorious past will not make us evolve. Civilization is built in a continuous evolutionary process and neglecting the new possibilities generated from new technological resources is naive. At the same time, forgetting the history and basic concepts is a shot in the bud.

The limitations to the implementation of digital resources are not technological limitations, but rather human resources. And it is precisely in the training of human resources that true transformation lies. Exactly at one of the sector's most exciting moments in terms of growth, employability, new frontiers, opportunities with a green economy and ecosystem services, growth in environmental, social and corporate governance , new materials and renewable raw materials; In short, a universe of things in which planted and natural forests play a fundamental role, we observe a persistent lack of interest among young people in forestry. Interest in the Forestry Engineering course at the “Luiz de Queiroz” School of Agriculture, University of São Paulo fell from 8 to 1.7 candidates per place. At federal universities, interest fell by half, from 3.3 to 1.6 candidates per place.

Would “digital” be a way to attract more people interested in learning about tree cultivation? How is pre-university training for technical and high school courses? How are we educating our children? When does the training of a forester begin? The challenges to make forestry an activity with full levels of digitalization are immense. And it won't happen overnight, but there is already a process emerging from various places driving digital transformation. The fear of adopting new technologies has been broken and innovations in all fields are beginning to appear here and there.

The future is a curious place. Oh! if we could touch it! Would we know how to decide better today? We must remain alert and not be fascinated by distant possibilities and futurism, forgetting deep structural flaws for the strategic development of a prosperous and competitive forestry activity. The message that remains is that there is no point in charging schools, universities and technical colleges. It is up to current foresters to genuinely and incisively support the mental transformation of new foresters' ability to analyze and synthesize to integrate forestry with digital resources.