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Forests 2013, 4(4), 968-983; doi:10.3390/f4040968

Deforestation and Changes in Landscape Patterns from 1979 to 2006 in Suan County, DPR Korea

1 Land Use Planning Institute, Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, Pyongyang, 999093, Democratic People's Republic of Korea 2 Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, Kunming Institute of Botany, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan 650204, China 3 World Agroforestry Centre, East Asia Office; No 132 Lanhei, Kunming 650204, China 4 College of Economics and Management, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 August 2013 / Revised: 13 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 November 2013 / Published: 13 November 2013
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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) suffered considerable upland deforestation during the 1990s, yet its consequences remain relatively unknown. This paper examines this deforestation and resulting land-use change patterns by analysis of Landsat satellite images from 1979, 1992, 2001 and 2006 in Suan County, Hwanghae Province, DPR Korea. Results show that there has been significant closed canopy forest loss and a dramatic expansion of agricultural land during this period. Most forestlands were converted to farmland during 1992 and 2001. Food shortages, along with fuelwood and timber extraction, are considered to be the main drivers of deforestation. Landscape analysis also showed that closed canopy forests have been severely fragmented and degraded. These research findings make a contribution to an insufficient body of literature on environmental issues in DPR Korea and helps to establish a baseline for monitoring land-use and land-cover changes in the country.
Keywords: deforestation; agriculture encroachment; landscape fragmentation; DPR Korea deforestation; agriculture encroachment; landscape fragmentation; DPR Korea
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pang, C.; Yu, H.; He, J.; Xu, J. Deforestation and Changes in Landscape Patterns from 1979 to 2006 in Suan County, DPR Korea. Forests 2013, 4, 968-983.

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