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An appraisal of population growth and forest cover change in Rawalpindi using NDVI and Linear regression model

Research Paper | July 1, 2019

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Rubab Zafar Kahlon, Ibtisam Butt

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.15( 1), 76-85, July 2019


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Population growth and vegetation cover have an inverse relationship since population growth promotes human activities, urban expansion, land use changes, which consequently result in forest cover change. Decline in forest cover is a major factor behind climate change and a great environmental challenge for the present day world. The present study was an attempt to analyse the change in forest cover led by population growth in Rawalpindi division of Punjab-Pakistan during the last 25 years. The Data for population was obtained from Punjab Bureau of Statistics, Lahore. Landsat satellite images were used to assess the forest cover change temporally for the years 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2015. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) technique was used to monitor the forest cover change and the linear regression was applied to find out the relationship between population growth and forest cover change within the study area. The results reveal that population grew up to 67.4% during 1990 to 2015 and due to this rapid population growth, the south western and south central part of the Rawalpindi division has witnessed great changes in vegetation cover and on overall basis the region is experiencing continual forest degradation especially after year 2010. The results of linear regression also confirm the strong relationship found between population growth and vegetation cover change within the region. The results of the study can help in further advancement for developing workable policies for forest cover conservation and management in the Rawalpindi region.


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An appraisal of population growth and forest cover change in Rawalpindi using NDVI and Linear regression model

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