Forest cover monitoring of Bara district (Nepal) using remote sensing and geographic information systems

  • CM Kandel Asst. Remote Sensing Officer, Department of Forest Research and Survey, Babar Mahal, Kathmandu
  • M Caetano Associate Professor at Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Principal Reseacher at Instituto Geográfico Português, Lisboa
  • P Cabral Associate Professor, Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Keywords: Forest cover dynamics, geographical information systems, landsat, remote sensing, spatial metrics

Abstract

This study uses Landsat TM of 1989 and ETM+ of 1999 and 2005 imagery to evaluate
forest cover dynamics during 1989-2005 in the Bara district of Nepal. The aim of the
study was to analyse the extent and trend of forest cover dynamics, spatial pattern of
forest and their driving forces. Forest cover change analysis was performed using objectoriented
classification approach applying a standard nearest neighbour algorithm to classify
the image in recognition. The overall classification accuracies were 85.71% and 88.23%
for the year 1999 and 2005, respectively. Land cover maps were produced with seven
land cover categories and were further reclassified as forest and non-forest areas to
analyse the forest cover dynamics. Post-classification and time series analysis were carried
out to detect the changes. Spatial metrics were computed for detecting the spatial pattern
of forest. The classifications suggested that the amount of forest land had decreased by
11.56% during 1989-2005. Spatial metrics revealed that forest area has been fragmented
and deforested with an annual rate of 0.72%. The overall result demonstrates that forest
area has experienced a significant shrinkage and mostly transferred into agricultural and
bare land. Expected change for the year 2021 was projected using Markov Chain Analysis
(MCA). The MCA result showed that forest area would decrease by 8.5% in the period of
2005-2021.

Key words: Forest cover dynamics; geographical information systems; landsat; remote
sensing; spatial metrics

DOI: 10.3126/banko.v20i1.3506

Banko Janakari
, Vol. 20, No. 1 pp.30-36

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How to Cite
Kandel, C., Caetano, M., & Cabral, P. (1). Forest cover monitoring of Bara district (Nepal) using remote sensing and geographic information systems. Banko Janakari, 20(1), 30-36. https://doi.org/10.3126/banko.v20i1.3506
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