Investigating the impact of Tourism on forest cover in the Annapurna conservation area through Remote Sensing and Statistical Analysis
Chaplin, J. A. (2013). Investigating the impact of Tourism on forest cover in the Annapurna conservation area through Remote Sensing and Statistical Analysis (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7852
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7852
Tourism is Nepal’s largest industry giving people in rural areas an alternative to subsistence farming. Tourism can have an impact on the forest cover of a region as trees provide firewood for cooking and heating and timber for building accommodation. In 1986 the Annapurna conservation area project was started to ensure that tourism was managed sustainably, which includes minimising the impacts on the forest cover. This study assesses the impacts of tourism on the forest cover in the Annapurna region by comparing Landsat images from 1999 and 2011. This was achieved through spectral classification of different landcover and assessing the change in forest cover in relation to increasing distances from tourism villages. A major problem with remote sensing in mountainous regions such as Nepal is shadow caused by the relief. This issue was addressed by only assessing areas which were free from shadow, which in effect meant a sample was used rather than the whole study region. The results indicate that there has been an 8 per cent reduction in overall forest extent, but this change varies by region. In the northern drier regions there has been a net increase in forest cover, while in the southern regions there has been a net reduction in forests. The influence of tourism facilities on forest is also variable. Around each of the sample tourism villages there was a general trend of decreasing removal of forest at greater distances from each village, which indicates tourism does have a negative impact on forests. However, there was an opposite trend in the northern villages that were well inside the conservation area.
University of Waikato
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