Assessment of Forest Cover Change of Dang, an Inner Terai District of Nepal
Keywords:Forest cover, landsat TM, land cover classification, change detection
This study analyzed the dynamics of changes of forest cover classes in the inner Terai District Dang, Nepal, based on Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images from two different years, viz., 1990 and 2011. Forest cover change analysis was performed through the analysis of a classified Landsat TM image using supervised classification. The overall classification accuracy for seven different land cover classes considered in this study were 80.37% and 80.56% for years 1990 and 2011, respectively. These classified images were further reclassified as forest and non-forest to analyze forest cover dynamics effectively using the post classification change detection. The results indicated that during 1990-2011, the total spatial areal coverage of forest land converted into other land cover was 20612 ha (shrub-land), 8571 ha (agriculture), and 2787 ha (others) non-forest classes. A significant portion of non-forest classes was also converted into forest (e.g., 11433 ha of shrubland, 5663 ha of agriculture, and 5581 ha of other non forest classes). Sand and water bodies remained more or less constant during this period. While forest cover was estimated to be disappearing at the rate of 0.2% per year, dense forest appears to be converting into a sparse forest at the rate of 0.1% per year. Future study to assess the causes and driving forces of forest cover change in Nepal should get guidance from this study on where to target interventions.
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