Author(s): Uddin K, Shrestha HL, Murthy MS, Bajracharya B, Shrestha B,
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Abstract Land cover and its change analysis across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is realized as an urgent need to support diverse issues of environmental conservation. This study presents the first and most complete national land cover database of Nepal prepared using public domain Landsat TM data of 2010 and replicable methodology. The study estimated that 39.1\% of Nepal is covered by forests and 29.83\% by agriculture. Patch and edge forests constituting 23.4\% of national forest cover revealed proximate biotic interferences over the forests. Core forests constituted 79.3\% of forests of Protected areas where as 63\% of area was under core forests in the outside protected area. Physiographic regions wise forest fragmentation analysis revealed specific conservation requirements for productive hill and mid mountain regions. Comparative analysis with Landsat TM based global land cover product showed difference of the order of 30-60\% among different land cover classes stressing the need for significant improvements for national level adoption. The online web based land cover validation tool is developed for continual improvement of land cover product. The potential use of the data set for national and regional level sustainable land use planning strategies and meeting several global commitments also highlighted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Environ Manage
and referenced in Journal of Coastal Zone Management