Chapter 8: Spatial modelling and BAU scenario analysis of Cambodian forest
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Tropical countries such as Cambodia require information about forest cover and biomass for successful implementation of climate change mitigation policies related to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) as well as implementation of various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Use of geospatial techniques can accurately monitor the spatio-temporal changes in the forest. Modelling and scenarios of forest resources play an important role in implementation of Intergovernmental Science_Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) guidelines and evidence-based decision-making. In this chapter, the authors examine the deforestation in Cambodia and develop a spatial model to simulate future forest covers under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. Spatial modelling tools are used to model present conditions and future scenario. The results show that the current deforestation process is in a critical stage where some sub-regions may face unprecedented stress on forest. Phased array type L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR) data were also used to estimate above-ground biomass in Cambodia for 2009 and 2015. In this research, Cambodia’s forest cover from 2020 to 2040 is forecasted and forest biomass for 2009 and 2015 is estimated. This forecasted forest cover and biomass information will be useful to establish forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels in Cambodia.

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