Assessing the Impacts of Population Growth and Roads on Forest Cover: A Temporal Approach to Reconstruct the Deforestation Process in District Kurram, Pakistan, since 1972

Kamal Hussain, Fazlur Rahman, Ihsan Ullah, Zahir Ahmad, Udo Schickhoff
2022 Land  
Deforestation in remote mountainous regions is considered to be one of the fundamental elements for triggering changes in the biophysical environment driven by various socioeconomic parameters, particularly population growth and road construction in a previously inaccessible environment. A sudden increase in population exerts adverse impacts on the local natural resources, specifically forests. The present study is conducted in Tribal District Kurram, located in the northwestern mountainous
more » ... of Pakistan. This study is aimed to analyze the temporal pattern of deforestation and to explore the impacts of population growth and accessibility on forest cover. It is based on remotely sensed data, focused group discussions, interviews and field observations. The satellite images were processed and classified using ArcGIS and ERDAS IMAGINE. The time span of this study is 1972 to 2019, which is further divided into three periods. The results revealed that almost half (48%) of the forest cover was reduced in ca. five decades. However, considerable variation has been observed in the deforestation rate during the study period. The results of this study revealed that both population change and accessibility have played a vital role in the deforestation process.
doi:10.3390/land11060810 fatcat:mpy4vvhunzfnhkqko6omfyrw74