Spatial assessment of forest cover change in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

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Mujataba Shafiq
Shakeel Mahmood


In this study spatial assessment of forest cover in Azad Kashmir was carried out. The study is based on secondary data. Satellite imageries of the past 20 years having temporal extent of five years were utilized for assessment of changes in vegetation covers. Supervised image classification and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) techniques were used to achieve objective of the study. The results indicated that forest cover is declining leading to different environmental problems. Increase in population acted as booster for the factors such as deforestation, conversion of forest land into agriculture and built-up land. These anthropogenic activities put pressure on the forest of the study region. After 2005 disastrous earthquake, rapid development of built-up environment was the leading factor behind clearing of forest. It was found from the analysis that forest cover has significantly declined in the last two decades and affected ecosystem services. Location specific management strategies are highly recommended to reduce the rapid decline in forest cover. Strategy must also consider the population growth and traditional forest conservation strategies. Alongside, keeping in view the agricultural activities and infrastructural development in the dense forest cover areas are also recommended.

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How to Cite
Shafiq, M., & Mahmood, S. (2022). Spatial assessment of forest cover change in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Advanced GIS, 2(2), 62–69. Retrieved from


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