International Journal of Agricultural and Applied Sciences, December 2022, 3(2): 94-99
Impact of Land cover Dynamics on Ecosystem services value of Siwalik range of Madhesh Province Nepal
Shalini Shah1*, Narayan Prasad Gautam1, Bishnu Prasad Dhakal2, Jit Narayan Sah1 and Subhash Chandra Sharma3
1Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
2Forest Research and Training Center, Kathmandu, Nepal
3Nepal Open University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Corresponding author e-mail: email@example.com
(Received: 31/07/2022; Revised: 01/11/2022; Accepted: 20/11/2022)
The Siwalik region is the area that lies between the hills in the north and Terai in the south. It provides a wide range of services and is of particular interest from a land use land cover (LULC) change perspective as it is naturally fragile and prone to degradation. The study was conducted in Madhesh Province Siwalik to assess the LULC change over three time periods and to quantify the change in ecosystem services value (ESV) due to LULC change. Remote sensing, Google Earth Engine and Arc GIS were used to prepare the land cover map. In 2000, 2010 and 2020 total area covered by the forest was 68.46%, 65.58% and 71.17%, agriculture was 16.50%, 18.21% and 16.21% and waterbodies were 4.40%, 3.89% and 3.79% respectively. From 2000-2010 forest and waterbodies decreased by 3.87%, and 0.54% respectively whereas agriculture and other land increased by 1.7% and 2.71% respectively. Similarly, from 2010 to 2020, agriculture, water bodies, and other land decreased by 1.99%, 0.10%, and 4.48% whereas forests increased by 6.58% respectively. The overall accuracy of the map is 90%, 89% and 88% for the years 2000, 2010 and 2020. The ESV was estimated using the value transfer method, which was 28 million USD/year, 26.84 million USD/year, and 28.97 million USD/year in 2000, 2010 and 2020, which showed that the total ESV has decreased by 1.16 and increased by 2.12 million USD from 2000-2020. An elasticity indicator shows 1% of land conversion in Siwalik resulted in 0.47 % and 0.21 % changes in ESVs during the two periods, respectively. Overall findings of this study, suggest that ESV has increased in the Siwalik region of Madhesh province in the last two decades, primarily due to an increase in forest cover. This increase should be taken as an opportunity to leverage policy support and programmatic implementation to increase forest cover and reduce land conversion.
Keywords: Chure region, Elasticity, Google Earth Engine, Land use land cover change, Remote sensing.