Multi-Scale Forest Biomass Assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region: Scope and Challenges of Geospatial Applications

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Forest resource conservation through community-based programmes has become an integral part of forest management in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Reliable baseline assessment and monitoring strategies at multiple scales are needed to generate optimal supply–demand resource scenarios for effective use of forest resources and to leverage carbon mitigation benefits through mechanisms like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). There is a critical need for forest biomass assessment and monitoring at multiple scales using ground and space-based protocols. However, the use of geospatial information systems is still at an early stage due to the lack of a uniform and consistent methodological framework and varying capacity of countries in the HKH region. This paper describes the available geospatial datasets and models relevant for the region; the current status of assessment levels and needs at HKH regional, national, and local levels; and areas of research to strengthen geospatial applications for multi-scale biomass assessment.
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 Record created 2017-05-16, last modified 2017-05-16