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Climate-resilient forest management in Nepal

  • Vishwas Sudhir Chitale, Sunil Thapa, Mir A. Matin, Kamala Gurung, Shankar Adhikari, Rabindra Maharjan
  • Summary

Forests play a vital role in combating climate change and mitigating its effects. In the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), they are an important source of livelihood for the region’s growing population. With forest degradation and deforestation increasing, it has become all the more necessary to have a reliable climate resilient forest management system. At present, lack of precise information on forest degradation and the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems hinder the conservation, planning and management of forest ecosystems in Nepal. We attempt to tackle this issue in collaboration with Department of Forests and Soil Conservation (DoFSC), Nepal, by providing scientific and reliable data on vulnerability of forests to anthropogenic factors and climate change using geospatial tools and techniques. We introduced a two-way multitier approach in Nepal to support the identification and implementation of adaptation and management strategies with special focus on forest ecosystems. It aims to reduce the vulnerability of forests to climate change and the degradation of forest ecosystems due to anthropogenic drivers. We used multispectral satellite datasets, data on climate trends and projections, and published data on extraction of forest resources in the study area. We then used data mining to quantify the influence of temperature and precipitation on functioning of forests by using MODIS data of net primary productivity, leaf area index, evapotranspiration and climatic trends and projections data. Finally, we overlayed the forest degradation map on forest climate sensitivity map to identify the hotspots of degradation and sensitivity needing immediate attention. These hotspots are defined as “adaptation footprints”, which help decision makers to prioritize their activities within their district. Most of the forest ecosystems in mid-western and far-western Nepal are highly sensitive to observed and predicted impacts of climate change, which need immediate prioritization and management. The products of this study are accessible through a web-based decision support tool, which will help decision makers at district and province level to prioritize the activities of forest management.


Main Record

  • DOI:
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  • Publisher Name:
    In B. Bajracharya, R. B. Thapa, & M. A. Matin (Eds.), Earth Observation Science and Applications for Risk Reduction and Enhanced Resilience in Hindu Kush Himalaya Region: A Decade of Experience from SERVIR
  • External Link:
    External link (open access)