Forest Data Bank history
According to the provisions of the Forest Act the State Forests NFH is obliged to ‘run a data bank on forest resources and the condition of forests’ (Art. 13a). The legislator defined the need for creating such a data bank as one of the instruments of sustainable forest management.Simultainously the Forest Act has also determined the forest data bank should contain information on forests regardless the form of their ownership.
The Director-General of the State Forests by the Ordinance No. 36 of 19 May 2009 appointed a task team for developing structural and functional concepts of a data bank for gathering information on forest resources and the condition of forests of all ownership forms.
The task team analysed the already exisiting databases and potential users’ needs and created a document entitled: “A data bank for gathering information on forest resources and the condition of forests of all ownership forms – the Concept of Structure and Function” containing basic assumptions for building, organising and fuctioning of such a data bank. The concept was presented and discussed during a seminar which took place in the Forest Research Institute on 23 June 2009. The event was attended by representatives of the Mnistry of Environment, the State Forests NFH, university faculties of forestry, the Forest Research Institute, the Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy, the Central Statistical Office, the wood industry representatives and other invited experts.
The members of the task team were representatives of key entities in the forestry sector in Poland:
Jan Głaz, Ph.D. habilitatus (Forestry Research Institute),
Michał Zasada, Ph.D. habilitatus (Forestry faculty at Warsaw University of Life Sciences),
Edward Lenart, Ph.D., Eng (Forestry Department of the Ministry of Environment),
Stanisław Zajączkowski, Ph.D., Eng (Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy),
Paweł Bartoszczuk, Ph.D. (Central Statistical Office),
Ewa Budna, Eng (Central Statistical Office),
Jacek Przypaśniak, M.Sc., Eng (Directorate-General of the State Forests).
The first stage leading towards the overall accomplishment of the concept was a pilot project realized by the Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy (BUliGL) in the years 2010-2012 - commissioned and supervised by the Directorate-General of the State Forests. The project included designing and building a data warehouse, building computing and reporting infrastructure as well as a public website. Additionally, the data input came from the forest management plans obligatory in all forests administered by the SF NFH, and also from periodical management works in all forests of other ownership located in the area of three provinces: Małopolskie, Mazowieckie and Podkarpackie.
One of the pilot project results was publicly accessible website providing ready-made reports and analyses, an interactive map and a World Map Service (WMS), which, in turn, enables the user to transmit and publish spatial data obtained from BDL on any website map. Once the website was started it has become very popular among companies and institutions using information on forests in their activities and also among members of the public.
Further development of BDL, also commissioned by the DGSF, meant the next stage of the project during which the gap of data input (for forests outside the State Forests NFH) from the remaining 13 provinces was filled. The computing and reporting applications were also redesigned, the public website was modernized. Thoseworks took place in the years 2013-2014. From December 2014 the BDL resources have been publicly available in their new shape.