J. Bio. Env. Sci.14( 5), 71-77, May 2019
Ecological reforestation and refurbishment activities in regards to deforestation are enormous environmental concern across globe, particularly in Pakistan, where forest resources are deteriorating at threshold level for last decades. In order to determine the status of forested land, accurate information on Land Use/ Land Cover (LULC) classes is pre-requisite that could be achieved using geospatial tools. Thereby, current study was intended towards the analysis of forested area in Murree Tehsil of Pir Panjal hills, one of the region targeted by Punjab Forest Department (PFD) for ecological restoration. Supervised Maximum Likelihood Classification method was applied to generate LULC maps for years 2000, 2008 and 2014 utilizing SPOT (2 & 5) satellite sensors. Five LULC classes were mapped i.e., forest, lower vegetation, bare soil, water and settlements. Research findings illustrated 62% decrease in lower vegetation class whereas, acceleration in forest and settlement class has been observed. Amelioration in forest class was primarily attributed to the efforts of PFD and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). Nonetheless, efficacious and methodical approach is needed for sustainable management of forests and other natural resources and it can be ensured by strengthening the capacity building of stakeholders.
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