J. Bio. Env. Sci.3(6), 64-78, June 2013
Since 1980, a 25% global reduction in mangrove area has been observed, categorizing mangrove as one of the most threatened and vulnerable ecosystems of the world. Pakistan is home to five of the world’s largest mangroves and receives special attention for their ecological importance and coastal stabilization potential. Anthropogenic and climatic influences, along with slack institutional management, have raised questions about qualitative and quantitative deformation of the country’s forest resources. To our knowledge, a comprehensive assessment of the current mangrove cover of Pakistan has not been made. In 1999, in the Forestry Sector Master Plan (FSMP), the mangrove forest extent was visually determined from Landsat images of 1988 – 1991, and was estimated to be 155,369 ha; whereas, in the National Forest and Range Resources Assessment Study (NFRRAS), Landsat images of 1997-2001 were automatically processed and the mangrove areas was estimated to be 158,000 ha. Since then, there have been hardly any studies describing the extent of mangrove cover at the end of first decade of 21st century. To address this gap, this study is particularly carried out to estimate the current mangroves cover of Pakistan based on multi-scale Object Based Image Analysis of ALOS-AVNIR-2 images for the year 2009. Results of current image analysis deciphered that the overall mangroves cover of Pakistan is approximately 98,128 ha, and is distribute distinct five geographic pockets. This national assessment disintegrated at sub-district administrative division is anticipated to support informed decision making and sustainable development of coastal regions of Pakistan.
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