Ecosystems provide a wide range of services to society and humanity. For the protection of ecosystems and ensuring their sustainability, the valuation of ecosystem services can provide an important information to support decision making. Himlal Baral and Sunil Sharma from CIFOR co-authored a paper, Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Forested Landscape, where the authors used the satellite remote sensing data to detect the land use and land cover changes in Nepal and estimated the economic loss of ecosystem services between 2001 and 2016.
Ecosystems provide a wide range of goods, services or ecosystem services (ES) to society. Estimating the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on ES values (ESV) is an important tool to support decision making. This study used remote sensing and GIS tools to analyze LULC change and transitions from 2001 to 2016 and assess its impact on ESV in a tropical forested landscape in the southern plains of Nepal. The total ESV of the landscape for the year 2016 is estimated at USD 1264 million year−1. As forests are the dominant land cover class and have high ES value per hectare, they have the highest contribution in total ESV. However, as a result of LULC change (loss of forests, water bodies, and agricultural land), the total ESV of the landscape has declined by USD 11 million year−1. Major reductions come from the loss in values of climate regulation, water supply, provision of raw materials and food production. To halt the ongoing loss of ES and maintain the supply and balance of different ES in the landscape, it is important to properly monitor, manage and utilize ecosystems. We believe this study will inform policymakers, environmental managers, and the general public on the ongoing changes and contribute to developing effective land use policy in the region.
Sharma, R., Rimal, B., Baral, H., Nehren, U., Paudyal, K., Sharma, S., Rijal, S., Ranpal, S., Acharya, R.P., Alenazy, A.A. and Kandel, P., 2019. Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Forested Landscape. Resources, 8(1), p.18.https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010018