Publication details

Normalized difference vegetation index analysis of forest cover change detection in Paro Dzongkhag, Bhutan



Year of publication 2022
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Attached files
Description Forest degradation is becoming increasingly common in Bhutan as the demand for land-use changes and the occurrence of wildfires. This is further aggravated by the increasing population, socio-economic development, and rapid urbanization. In addition, the efficiency of forest management plans and policies is constrained by the lack of field research. One of the important study areas is the quantification of land use and land cover changes to ensure the formulation and implementation of sound policies and practices for sustainable forest resource management. Therefore, the current study aims to evaluate the forest cover changes in Bhutan in the study area of Paro Dzongkhag using a geographic information system and remote sensing data. For this study, multispectral data from Landsat-8 were used to carry out a normalized difference vegetation index analysis to calculate the forest coverage for the year 2019. The forest coverage in 2019 was determined to be 48.58% ± 2.06%, a decrease of 3.42%, or 3683 ha, compared to 2016. This decrease was mainly attributed to wildfires and deforestation. An accuracy assessment revealed that the data had 95.75% accuracy. The findings from our study suggest that there is a need for major interventions to monitor and maintain the forest cover areas in Paro Dzongkhag.

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