Forests cover nearly 30% of the globe’s land surfaces and are the environment on Earth where the most animal and plant species are found, more than half of them in tropical forests. It is estimated that over 1.5 billion people live from forest resources. Forests are the lungs of the planet, providing carbon sinks that play a key role in regulating climate and the water cycle.

SPOTMaps - Forest in Kenya (extract)

SPOTMaps - Marsabit, Kenya (extract)
© CNES 2004 - 2013

The ever-growing anthropogenic pressures exerted on forests are now closely monitored and regulatory frameworks are being put in place to reconcile economic growth, social development and environmental stewardship. Sustainable management of forest ecosystems is strongly encouraged and funded, for example through new monetization mechanisms like REDD+.

Satellite imagery is helping to monitor forests and above all providing vital decision-support tools for forest managers. With the expertise acquired from 25 years of supplying and analysing satellite imagery, Airbus Defence and Space offers public and private stakeholders in the forestry sector:

  • Millions of of multisource, multiresolution archive imagery for time-series analysis
  • A unique constellation of satellites able to meet the most demanding requirements, with daily revisits to any point on the globe
  • On-demand tracking and surveillance
  • Tools to process and analysis vegetation cover data for thematic mapping

Such products and services are widely used by major forest nations to:

  • Compile forest inventories (Japan, China, Guiana)
  • Meet reporting obligations under international conventions (New Zealand)
  • Keep track of forest activities (Australia, Russia)
  • Put in place government policies and forest codes (Amazonian states in Brazil)
  • Set up national MRV systems under the REDD+ framework (Congo Basin nations, Laos, Cambodia)

Airbus Defence and Space also proposes custom solutions for all stakeholders and investors in charge of planning, protecting or exploiting forests.


Satellite imagery serving forestry

  • Protection and management
  • Combating deforestation
  • Basemaps
  • Sustainable development