University of Twente Student Theses


Identifying and mapping the biodiversity and other ecosystem based multiple benefits of REDD+: The case of Chitwan, Nepal

Merahi, Getachew Taddese (2013) Identifying and mapping the biodiversity and other ecosystem based multiple benefits of REDD+: The case of Chitwan, Nepal.

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Abstract:REDD+ has the potential to conserve or protect forests and deliver multiple benefits beyond carbon. To realize these benefits, careful planning is needed and particular attention should be paid to biodiversity and other ecosystem services. This study aims to investigate where REDD+, in addition to maintaining carbon stocks, can secure benefit of biodiversity (tree species diversity) and ecosystem services of provisioning of NTFPs; identify hotspot areas (areas of importance for carbon stock, biodiversity, and NTFPs) and investigate their spatial relationships. GIS and geospatial statistics were used for this study. Aboveground biomass map data was used to develop carbon stock map; and Shannon diversity index was calculated and used as an indicator of tree species diversity. Kriging spatial interpolation was used to map tree species diversity; and spatial relationship between tree species diversity and carbon stock of the study area was also investigated. Non timber forest products (NTFP) were identified and mapped, spatial relationship between NTFP rich and NTFP unique places were investigated; and the accuracies of the maps were assessed through leave one out cross validation techniques. NTFP uniqueness map for the study area was produced based on a uniqueness index developed in this study. Investigation of the effect of accessibility on NTFP extraction shows that while there may be effect of accessibility for NTFP popularity, its effect on NTFP uniqueness was not observed; but its effect on availability calls for further study. Very weak negative correlation was obtained (Pearson‟s correlation = -0.05) between carbon stock and tree species diversity, and the relation was not statistically significant at 95% confidence level. But, there was obtained positive strong correlation and statistically significant relation (α = 0.01) between NTFP rich places and NTFP unique places. Pearson‟s correlation obtained was 0.91, and coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.84. NTFP hotspots were identified and mapped by identifying NTFP richness and NTFP uniqueness based on the uniqueness index. Finally, map of hotspots and most hotspot places were identified based on set criteria for areas of importance for carbon stock, biodiversity and NTFP richness and NTFP uniqueness. Keywords: ecosystem services, carbon stock, tree species diversity, NTFP richness, accessibility, NTFP uniqueness, uniqueness index, REDD+
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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