An Overview of Remote Sensing in Russian Forestry.
The Russian Federation possesses vast forested areas, containing about 23% of the world's closed forests. A significant part of these forestlands is neither managed nor regularly monitored. This is due in part to the absence of developed infrastructure in the remote northern regions, which hampers the collection of data on forest inventory and monitoring in all areas by precise and expensive on-ground methods. As a result, the monitoring in all areas by precise and expensive on-ground methods. As a result, the former Soviet Union conducted intensive research on remote sensing during the last few decades, resulting in significant achievements. However, there has been a noticeable decline in remote sensing research and applications in the Russian forest sector from 1990-1998. Russia needs a new system of forest inventory and monitoring capable of providing reliable, practical information for sustainable forest management. Such a system should take into account current national demands on the Russian forest sector as well as the international obligations of the country. Remote sensing methods are an indispensable part of such a system. These methods will play a crucial role in critical applications such as ensuring the sustainability of forest management, protecting threatened forests, fulfilling the countrys Kyoto Protocol obligations, and others. This paper presents an overview of past and current remote sensing methods in the Russian forest sector, including both practical and scientific applications. Based on this overview, relevant applications of remote sensing methods in the Russian forest sector are discussed. This discussion considers current Russian economic conditions and the direction of political and social development of the country.
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