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Spatio-temporal analysis of remotely sensed forest loss data in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

Citation

Daipan, Bernard Peter; Jenner, Franco (2021), Spatio-temporal analysis of remotely sensed forest loss data in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v41ns1rvb

Abstract

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in the Philippines is among the last forest frontiers in the country and is also home to 13 major watersheds in Northern Luzon that supply irrigation and hydroelectricity to other regions. However, it is faced with the deterioration of the quality of its watersheds due to forest loss driven mainly by agricultural expansion and illegal logging. Thus, this study was conducted to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of forest loss that could serve as a basis for policy decisions. Also, this paper determined the strength of relationships using Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) between forest loss and seven independent variables, which includes forest cover, agricultural areas, built-up, road network, and socio-economic data. This study utilized the Hansen Global Forest Change (HGFC), a Landsat-derived dataset from 2001 to 2019. Results revealed that 70,925 hectares (ha) of forest loss were detected with an annual deforestation rate of 3,744 ha/year across the region. Based on the validation, the accuracy of the HGFC data is 72%, but great caution should be observed when using the data with less than 0.2 ha due to very low accuracy. On a region-wide analysis, only the forest cover had a strong association with the forest loss with a computed r-value of 0.78. Conversely, on a provincial level, the explanatory variables had a strong to moderately strong correlation with deforestation. Hence, immediate, science-based, and sustained regional and multi-stakeholder efforts are necessary to conserve and protect the remaining forest cover in the region.

Methods

The Hansen Global Forest Change version 1.7 datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the earth engine partner’s website repository http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest. The datasets were developed by Hansen et al. (2013) in their paper "High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change". Science, 342 (6160), 850-853. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1244693

The census of population in the Philippines, including the project populations, used in this study can be retrieved from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website https://psa.gov.ph/statistics/census/projected-population

The datasets were processed using an open source GIS software (QGIS version 3.16 Hannover) which can be downloaded from the QGIS website https://www.qgis.org/en/site/.