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|Title:||Evaluating Forest Cover Changes in Protected Areas Using Geospatial Analysis in Chiang Mai, Thailand|
|Abstract:||Protected areas have been developed in Thailand to conserve the natural environment required for wildlife and human beings, and to prevent disasters. It is necessary to address doubts about effectiveness of protected areas because regulations have been changed or are ignored in some communities and regions, especially in Chiang Mai province, which is facing the loss of natural forest areas under area transformations. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of forest protected areas. To do this, this study focused on analyzing multi-year land cover changes in Chiang Mai over two decades (1995-2015) with four land cover types: forest, agriculture, urban, and water bodies, inside and outside protected areas. The results suggest that the establishment of forest protected areas assisted to curtail urban expansion compared to non-protected areas. The protected areas effectively kept the number of divided forest patches small, and the forest patches were larger than in non-protected areas. We detected clearing of forests in protected areas, where they were transformed into agricultural areas. However, agricultural patches in protected areas were smaller and in higher densities than in non-protected areas. We conclude that the main contribution of forest cover loss in Chiang Mai is transition to agricultural areas, and that designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries could help to effectively conserve such forest areas.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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