Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1431–1441 | Cite as

Multi-temporal forest cover dynamics in Kashmir Himalayan region for assessing deforestation and forest degradation in the context of REDD+ policy

  • Akhlaq Amin WaniEmail author
  • Pawan Kumar Joshi
  • Ombir Singh
  • Sumera Shafi


The role of forests is being actively considered under the agenda of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) aimed at reducing emissions related to changes in forest cover and forest quality. Forests in general have undergone negative changes in the past in the form of deforestation and degradation, while in some countries positive changes are reported in the form of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stock. The present study in the Kashmir Himalayan forests is an effort to assess historical forest cover changes that took place from 1980 to 2009 and to predict the same for 2030 on the basis of past trend using geospatial modeling approach. Landsat data (Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+)) was used for the years 1980, 1990 and (2001, 2009) respectively and change detection analysis between the dates was performed. The maps generated were validated through ground truthing. The study area (3375.62 km2) from 1980-2009 has uffered deforestation and forest degradation of about 126 km2 and 139.02 km2 respectively which can be claimed under negative options of REDD+, while as the area that experienced no change (1514 km2) can be claimed under conservation. A small area (23.31 km2) observed as positive change can be claimed under positive options. The projected estimates of forest cover for 2030 showed increased deforestation and forest degradation on the basis of trend analysis using Cellular Automata (CA) Markov modeling. Despite the fact that country as a whole has registered a net positive change in the past few decades, but there are regions like Kashmir region of western Himalaya which have constantly undergoing deforestation as well as degradation in the past few decades.


Deforestation Degradation Coniferous forests Carbon emission Himalaya 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akhlaq Amin Wani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pawan Kumar Joshi
    • 2
  • Ombir Singh
    • 3
  • Sumera Shafi
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of ForestrySher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Benhama-Watlar GanderbalJ&KIndia
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Silviculture DivisionForest Research Institute (FRI)DehradunIndia
  4. 4.KVK, PulwamaSher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of KashmirJ&K 192301India

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