ESA title


  • ACTIVITYKick-start Activity
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAEnvironment, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Objectives of the service

Background Image credit: Sergio Izquierdo

The Illegal Logging Detection and Prediction (ILDAP) application detects illegal logging activities in tropical, mixed forestry environments and anticipates possible future environmental crimes. Through the analysis of patterns such as settlement developments or road construction, ILDAP can also predict illegal logging activities and dispatch near real-time alerts to users ensuring effective responses without delay. The ILDAP application harnesses AI, GIS, and the latest remote sensing data analytics for strategic and impactful insight provision. Additionally, entities can benefit from ILDAP biomass estimation features for the conservation and monetization of carbon stocks and changes in forest systems.

Users and their needs

Although the global environmental monitoring market is growing at an astounding rate, customers still experience the same challenges as they did 20 years ago. They face issues including inaccuracy in the reporting of illegal logging and biomass estimations, limited resources and funds, corruption, inefficiency, weak government policies, and lack of proof of illegal logging activities for intervention. ILDAP’s innovative solutions address several of these problems. Our customers receive actionable insights and near-real-time alerts to intervene and halt illegal logging activities through detection, predictions and more accurate reporting of biomass estimations for the monetization of carbon stocks. Key clients stem from the public sector of NGOs and government entities; private sector players such as commercial and agroforestry entities; and an emerging market of carbon creditors and certifiers that recognize environmental integrity as a key pillar of economies. The change to proactive forest management and environmental crime mitigation is here. 

Service/ system concept

The system is divided into four different feature groups. Feature 1 is land use classification, where detailed and updated information on land use is generated. This service is performed based on Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 data. A highly accurate and detailed land use classification map is not only added value in itself but also important to the illegal logging prediction proposition of ILDAP.

The second feature group is logging detection and as such one of ILDAP’s core purposes.

The live alert system entails two parts. A change detection part on optical data (Sentinel 2), where a pixel of the newly taken image will be compared with the same pixel over time. This method is reliable, especially over larger surface areas. The disadvantage is that cloud cover can interfere. When the ground is obscured with clouds, the satellite data becomes unusable.

The utilisation of radar satellite Sentinel 1 combats this. By comparing only a few images of Sentinel 1 data we can identify where changes in forest structure occur. This is the second part of the change detection process.

The third feature group is the prediction part. We map risks for illegal logging based on several topographical, weather, vegetation and economic parameters which are being processed by a machine learning method capable of processing large amounts of training datasets.

The ILDAP platform also contains a biomass component. The biomass component uses modelling based on vegetation trends and forest conditions as described by satellite data.

Space Added Value

The use of satellite remote sensing allows for automated impact reports of illegal logging with countless advantages such as: (a) global monitoring over large areas, (b) accuracy and precision down to the hectare, (c) and affordable pricing. ILDAP significantly improves upon staple products in the environmental monitoring market due to illegal logging prediction capabilities, which are virtually unseen by customers, and integration within contextual workflows for optimum uptake.

For reference data collection and for distribution of actionable insights, satellite navigation will be used.

Current Status

Development has already kicked off and we are seeing the critical features and service offerings come together and verified. Successful market interviews have confirmed challenges and gaps in tooling, as a result, prediction and integrated insights offer a unique service to meet market needs and offer added value.

Kick-start study is completed and LDAP is preparing for a follow-on activity with the partner in Kalimantan, Indonesia in Q1 2021. 

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 18 January 2021 - Created: 18 January 2021