Earth observation is particularly effective in the management and monitoring of forests. It provides information about the condition, the wood reserves, and the biodiversity of large areas of natural and managed forests. Time series of Earth observation data that cover large tracts of forest represent an important addition to the classical spot-check method of forestry inventory assessment: They help with forestry operations planning as well as being a great help in disaster management.
In cases of forest degradation by natural events or by single incidents such as infestation by insects, trees downed by wind or snow, or forest fires, up-to-date images of the areas affected permit analysing the damage quickly and thoroughly. Moreover, Earth observation satellites provide the only way to detect areas of large-scale clearing of tropical rainforest and to monitor climate protection measures over long periods.