Forests

Forests cover around a quarter of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. They’re an integral part of the transboundary landscape, connecting numerous ecosystems and conserving biodiversity, sustaining livelihoods, providing timber and other resources and guarding against natural disasters such as landslides, rock falls and avalanches. 

The health and vitality of many forest ecosystems are already affected by climatic as well as land use changes. While the latter may outweigh the former at this point, climate change adds a challenging dimension to future forest management, as greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration are among the key functions that fast-degrading mountain forests must perform. 

In the future, forest management will have to be sensitive to biodiversity and climate needs without short-changing the local communities that look to the forests for immediate goods and benefits. It’s more important than ever to understand the power relations among the various actors involved in forest management, the often unequal distribution of costs and benefits of forest exploitation, and the latest developments in science, economics and sustainable forest management. 

The paramount role of forests in adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change has become a global concern. Yet forest ecosystems continue to degrade and fragment. ICIMOD is seeking the knowledge and management tools to reverse that trend and preserve the forests of the Hindu Kush Himalayas for the benefit of the region’s people and the future of the world.

Mega event

Transforming Mountain Forestry 

Bridging transboundary challenges with 21st century paradigms for the welfare of mountain people,forests and environment in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Dehradun, India

18 - 22 January 2015

Relevant Publications

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Datasets

Land cover and its change analysis across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is realized as an urgent need to support diverse issues of environmental conservation. This study presents the first and most complete national land cover database of Nepal prepared using public domain Landsat TM data of 2000 and replicable methodology. The study estimated that 41.64% of Nepal is covered by forests and 27.77% by agriculture. Physiographic regions wise forest fragmentation analysis revealed specific conservation requirements for productive hill and mid mountain regions. Comparative analysis with Landsat TM based global land cover product showed difference of the order of 30-60% among different land cover classes stressing the need for significant improvements for national level adoption. The online web based land cover validation tool is developed for continual improvement of land cover product. The potential use of the data set for national and regional level sustainable land use planning strategies and meeting several global commitments also highlighted.


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From the field well distributed circular (750m2 and 500m2), 1124 field plots (0.001% representation of forest cover) measured which were used for estimation AGB (ton/ha) using Sharma et al. (1990) proposed equations for all tree species of Nepal. A satisfactory linear relationship (AGB = 8.7018*Hmax-101.24, R2=0.67, RMSE=7.2 ton/ha) achieved between maximum canopy height (Hmax) and AGB (ton/ha).


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Leaf Area Index (LAI) generated based on Landsat-8 the OLI cloud free images. To generate tree canopy height map, a density scatter graph between the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) estimated maximum height and Landsat LAI nearest to the center coordinates of the GLAS shots show a moderate but significant exponential correlation (31.211*LAI0.4593, R2= 0.33, RMSE=13.25 m).


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The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Paro, Bhutan between 2010 and 2013 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


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The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Paro, Bhutan for 2013 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


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The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Bandarban, Bangladesh between 2013 and 2014 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


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The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Sarlahi, Nepal for 2014 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


View Metadata

The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Sarlahi, Nepal for 2013 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


View Metadata

The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Paro, Bhutan for 2014 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


View Metadata

The past few decades have seen high levels of deforestation and forest degradation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. In this context, under SERVIR Himalaya programme, ICIMOD has developed forest cover monitoring system to identify forest change hotspot areas which need critical forest management attention in four pilot areas. This forest cover data of Paro, Bhutan between 2013 and 2014 has been developed using LandSat 8 data in a semi-automated manner as part of the forest cover monitoring system.


View Metadata



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