Anchoring Transboundary Cooperation: Vegetation and Land Use Type Map of Kailash Sacred Landscape

   TwitCount
The map is launched at ICIMOD by Dr David Molden, Director General on 29 March, 2016.

Kailash sacred landscape covers more than 31,000 km2 geographical area and is spread across China, India, and Nepal. It exhibits diverse vegetation, starting from tropical forest at around 800m altitude to alpine steppe found at altitude higher than 4000 m, and transecting across subtropical, montane, grassland, subalpine and alpine vegetation. 

The vegetation type and land cover map forms the basis for planning and management for ecological conservation, tourism, enhancement of livelihood value chains, climate change studies, biomass and carbon studies, study of ecosystem services, and a lot of other practical uses as well. However, since it is a transboundary area with three countries, several classification systems of vegetation and maps exist. It becomes challenging to integrate these maps owing to their differential scales, names and sources. 

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through its Kailash Sacred Landscape Initiative has been able to harmonise the vegetation type classification scheme with its country partners in China, India, and Nepal. The final map of Kailash Sacred landscape was launched at ICIMOD, which was compiled through two years by partners, experts in ecology and remote sensing, and other stakeholders. The map depicts the percentage of area covered by 14 vegetation types and five land use/cover types from Kailash Sacred Landscape. It will be available through online platform for researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders working in the landscape. 

The harmonisation and learning process is crucial information for ICIMOD’s and other transboundary landscape initiatives in the HKH. 

Combining several other data layers with the map (e.g. wildlife population and habitat distribution, springshed location, institutions of forest management, livelihood types etc.) KSLCDI plans to upscale the information for effective landscape level management on a transboundary scale that links institutions, interventions and investments.