Evaluation of land-use pattern change in West Bhanugach Reserved Forest, Bangladesh, using remote sensing and GIS techniques


A study was conducted to investigate the land-use pattern change over a period of 18 years (1988–2006) by using remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) technologies, in the West Bhanugach Reserved Forest, a hill forest, in Sylhet Forest Division of Bangladesh. The images were processed using ERDAS Imagine software. Both supervised and unsupervised approaches were applied and ground control points were collected using a GPS. Maps were prepared using GIS software. Results showed that vegetation cover drastically decreased from the year 1988 to 1996 (1 826 ha to 1 714.85 ha), but increased gradually from the year 1996 to 2006 (1 714.85 ha to 1 847.83 ha) due to the initiation of co-management practice involving local communities. Change in bare land was inversely proportionate to the amount of vegetation cover changes unless any other land-uses were converted into bare land. The area of water bodies increased from the year 1988 to 1996 (307.67 ha to 379.53 ha), but decreased from the year 1996 to 1997, then remained invariabile from the year 1997 to 2006. Some recommendations were also made for applying the RS and GIS techniques to study the land-use pattern change in the Bhanugach Reserved Forest and to create a GIS data base for the study area.

Research Journal of Forestry