【Title】Spatial assessment of forest cover and land-use changes in the Hindu-Kush mountain ranges of northern Pakistan
【Author】Sami ULLAH1,5; Muhammad FAROOQ2; Muhammad SHAFIQUE3; Muhammad Afra SIYAB4; Fazli KAREEM2; Matthias DEES1
【Addresses】1 Chair of Remote Sensing and Landscape Information System, Institute of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacherstraße 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany; 2 Pakistan Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission (SUPARCO), Hayatabad, Phase 5, 25124 Peshawar, Pakistan; 3 National Centre of Excellence in Geology, University of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 25120 Peshawar, Pakistan; 4 Office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), sector G - 5/2, 4400, Islamabad, Pakistan; 5 Department of Forestry, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal, Dir Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 23004, Pakistan
【Citation】Ullah S, FarooqM, ShafiqueM, et al. (2016) Spatial assessment of forest cover and land-use changes in the Hindu-Kush mountain ranges of northern Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science 13(7). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-015-3456-3
【Abstract】Anthropogenic activities and natural processes are continuously altering the mountainous environment through deforestation, forest degradation and other land-use changes. It is highly important to assess, monitor and forecast forest cover and other land-use changes for the protection and conservation of mountainous environment. The present study deals with the assessment of forest cover and other land-use changes in the mountain ranges of Dir Kohistan in northern Pakistan, using high resolution multi-temporal SPOT-5 satellite images. The SPOT-5 satellite images of years 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 were acquired and classified into land-cover units. In addition, forest cover and land-use change detection map was developed using the classified maps of 2004 and2013.The classified maps were verified through random field samples and Google Earth imagery (Quick birds and SPOT-5). The results showed that during the period 2004 to 2013 the area of forest land decreased by 6.4%, however, area of range land and agriculture land have increased by 22.1% and 2.9%, respectively. Similarly, barren land increased by 1.1%, whereas, area of snow cover/glacier is significantly decreased by 21.3%. The findings from the study will be useful for forestry and landscape planning and can be utilized by the local, provincial and national forest departments; and REDD+ policy makers in Pakistan.
【Keywords】Forest cover changes; Land use changes; Remote sensing; Hindu-Kush Mountain regions; SPOT satellite images