CHANGES IN LAND COVER/LAND USE OVER THE NORTHEAST REGION OF INDIA
Keywords:Trend, decreasing, increasing, forest cover, population
The Northeast region (NER) is rich in biodiversity however it is under increasing pressure due to economic development. With this in backdrop, an attempt is made to investigate the trend in forest cover, shifting cultivation and urbanization. The analysis reveals that annual forest cover shows significant decreasing trend at Nagaland and Manipur while increasing trend is reported at six states. In order to understand the causative factor for increase/decrease, the data related to various forest cover viz., dense, open, scrubs and non-forestland were collected and analysed. The result indicates that except Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, the rest of the state reported increase in dense forest cover. The analysis also shows that area under shifting cultivation has decreased considerably across the NER. This can be ascribed to the afforestation drive, settled agriculture and social forestry etc. In NER, all the major towns show exponentially increase in population growth significant at 99%. Thus, there is a positive correlation between population growth with that of forest cover and urbanization unlike shifting cultivation. The results also show significant decrease in monsoon rainfall and an increase in temperature variables, a part played by change in land cover and land use.
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