Socio-economic factors and management regimes as drivers of tree cover change in Nepal

Shrestha, Sujata and Shrestha, Uttam B. and Bawa, Kamal (2018) Socio-economic factors and management regimes as drivers of tree cover change in Nepal. PeerJ, 6 (e4855). pp. 1-25. ISSN 2167-8359

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Abstract

Despite the local and global importance of forests, deforestation is driven by various socio-economic and biophysical factors continues in many countries. In Nepal, in response to massive deforestation, the community forestry program has been implemented to reduce deforestation and support livelihoods. After four decades of its inception, the effectiveness of this program on forest cover change remains mostly unknown. This study analyses the spatial and temporal patterns of tree cover change along with a few socio-economic drivers of tree cover change to examine the effectiveness of the community forestry program for conserving forests or in reducing deforestation. We also investigate the socio-economic factors and policy responses as manifested through the community forestry program responsible for the tree cover change at the district level. The total tree cover area in the year 2000 in Nepal was �4,746,000 hectares, and our analysis reveals that between 2001 and 2016, Nepal has lost �46,000 ha and gained �12,200 ha of areas covered by trees with a substantial spatial and temporal variations. After accounting socio-economic drivers of forest cover change, our analysis showed that districts with the larger number of community forests had a minimum loss in tree cover, while districts with the higher proportion of vegetation covered by community forests had a maximum gain in tree cover. This indicates a positive contribution of the community forestry program to reducing deforestation and increasing tree cover.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Open Access. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2018 05:27
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2018 05:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: tree cover, community forestry, Nepal, forest loss, deforestation, geographic information system, remote sensing
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961306 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Forest and Woodlands Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4855
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34483

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