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Analysis of Forest Deforestation and its Driving Factors in Myanmar from 1988 to 2017

by Rongfeng Yang 1,2,†, Yi Luo 2,3,*, Kun Yang 2,3,†, Liang Hong 1,2 and Xiaolu Zhou 4
1
School of Tourism and Geographical Science, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
2
The Engineering Research Center of GIS Technology in Western China of Ministry of Education of China, Kunming 650500, China
3
School of Information Science and Technology, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
4
Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30485, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3047; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113047
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Myanmar, abundant in natural resources, is one of the countries with high forest cover in Southeast Asia. Along with its rapid socio-economic development, however, the construction of large-scale infrastructure, expansion of agricultural land, and an increasing demand for timber products have posed serious threats to the forests and significantly affected regional sustainable development. However, the geographical environment in Myanmar is complex, resulting in the lack of long-term sequence of land cover data products. Based on 30 years’ Landsat satellite remote sensing imagery data and the land cover data extracted by a mixed classification method, this paper examined the spatial and temporal evolution characteristics of forest cover in Myanmar and investigated driving factors of the spatio-temporal evolution. Results show that the forest cover has decreased by 110,621 km2 in the past 30 years with the annual deforestation rate of 0.87%. Cropland expansion is the main reason for the deforestation throughout the study period. The study can provide basic information of the forest cover data to the Myanmar government for ecological environment protection. At the same time, it can provide important support to the “Belt and Road” initiative to invest in the region’s economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest cover; spatio-temporal change; driving factor; Landsat remote image; Myanmar forest cover; spatio-temporal change; driving factor; Landsat remote image; Myanmar
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Yang, R.; Luo, Y.; Yang, K.; Hong, L.; Zhou, X. Analysis of Forest Deforestation and its Driving Factors in Myanmar from 1988 to 2017. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3047.

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