Land-cover change in Goa– An Integrated RS – GIS Approach

Kotha M.

Abstract


Goa, with its’ scenic beauty of sandy beaches, large population with relatively low human development index, forms a part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. The advent of tourism, enhanced mining activities, and population increase coupled with natural and anthropogenic changes due to modern societal demands has resulted in large scale change in the geo-ecological setup and landuse patterns causing direct impact on the human environment. The recent model for the hotspots of change identifies the potential areas of change in Goa and shows strong anthropogenic influences on the hotspots of change (Roy and Shrivastava, 2012). These changes need to be delineated for better understanding and for taking the necessary mitigate and remedial measures. Present work while providing baseline data, attempts towards understanding decadal land-cover changes using satellite data of last 40 years. Major changes were observed in vegetation and settlement/urbanisation pattern which needs to be monitored to avoid further degradation of the Goa’s natural environment. The overall loss in vegetation is due to gain in settlement from 1973-2012. The loss in vegetation is partly attributed to mining activity although the exact extent is not calculated. However the loss of vegetation cover of 1973-1989 is changed to a gain during 1989-1999 and subsequent period due to afforestation/plantation measures by mining/forestry

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