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Summer 2009
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Eucalyptus Forestry and Wood Pulp Production Applies GIS

Brazil's Aracruz Celulose Breaks New Ground

English / Spanish

Highlights

  • ArcGIS Desktop allows fast information exchange between plantations and administration.
  • Mid- and long-term forest planning is streamlined with GIS.
  • GIS immediately benefits operations.

Brazilian forestry company Aracruz Celulose S.A. (headquartered in Espírito Santo) produces 3.2 million tons of eucalyptus bleached pulp annually—24 percent of the world's supply—which is used in the manufacture of papers for writing, printing, and sanitary purposes, as well as highly value-added special papers.

click to enlarge

The company's forest operations are in the states of Espírito Santo, Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul, with more than 286,000 hectares of renewable eucalyptus plantations interspersed with around 170,000 hectares of native plant reserves, which are essential for the ecosystem balance. In addition, the company encourages other (third-party) eucalyptus plantations, which consist of another 96,000 hectares contracted with more than 3,900 rural producers.

Before the implementation of GIS at Aracruz, the company could not develop a long-term forest plan. There was only one database, which was developed and updated by the company's employees based on field measurements through conventional topography. Furthermore, cartographic information was traditionally separated from the tabular data, and the maps were based on aerial studies.

In 1997, company officials concluded that it was important to streamline information exchange between the planting areas and the administrative sectors, and in 1998, the company started using ArcGIS Desktop (ARC/INFO at that time). This improved planning, planting, and the development of harvest and transport strategies for raw material and cellulose. To meet these goals, the company knew that it needed the most advanced GIS technology to be customized for its needs.

After evaluating GIS consultants, in 2004 Aracruz selected Imagem Geosistemas e Comércio Ltda., Esri's Brazilian distributor, to help develop a GIS-based method of optimizing Aracruz's database to support its mid- and long-term forest planning. Imagem was selected because of its know-how and support, ensuring the utilization of Esri products to the fullest.

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Aracruz has more than 286,000 hectares of renewable eucalyptus plantations interspersed with approximately 170,000 hectares of native plant reserves, which are essential for the ecosystem balance.

Using ArcGIS Desktop and the Oracle 9.2g database management system in its forestry information system (SIF), Aracruz performs its updates with enhanced precision data capture using GPS. GIS has allowed the fast visualization of Aracruz plantation areas, which speeds up the process of obtaining raw material. The company also uses the database for environmental preservation and land use.

"Our geographic database is directly connected to the business spreadsheets," explains Jocival Luiz Domingos, geographic information system analyst, Aracruz. "Any update we do using GIS tools immediately affects our operations. At the same time, the field actions generate data recorded by GIS."

ArcGIS Desktop also improves information exchange between the plantation areas and the administrative divisions, as well as supports the development of harvest and transport strategies of both raw material and pulp.

More Information

For more information, contact Jocival Luiz Domingos, GIS analyst (e-mail: jldoming@aracruz.com.br), or Marcial Amoedo y Cervino, geoprocessing coordinator (e-mail: mayc@aracruz.com.br), Aracruz Celulose S.A., or contact Dorival Arthur Junior, Imagem (e-mail: djunior@img.com.br).

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