Remote sensing has been used in forestry for a long time. Aerial photography has mainly been used to support national and operational inventories and medium resolution satellite data for large area inventories. Today through the availability of new technologies there are greatly extended possibilities for remote sensing in the forestry sector. The major change is the better availability of 3-D information, which allows a much better modelling of forests and forest attributes. The paper presents an overview of the newest remote sensing technologies, such as the systems carried by satellite which can be used to record changes or degradation in the area covered by forest for the global forestry resources assessment of the UN World Food and Agriculture Organisation or are examined in connection with the United Nations REDD program. Besides these, other small scale applications are presented based on optical or laser systems carried by aircraft. The article finishes with an outlook on expected developments in the near future. It is expected that the future of forestry remote sensing will be characterized above all by the combination of information obtained from diverse sources, such as data based on terrestrial and on remotely sensed sources.

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