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Abstract

The spatio-temporal monitoring and understanding of the pattern of land-use and land-cover (LULC) change in the Himalayas are essential for sustainable development, especially from environmental planning and management perspective. The increasing anthropogenic activities and climate change in the Siwalik and Lesser Himalayas have substantially experienced rapid change in the natural landscape; however, detailed investigation and documentation of such observed changes are limited. This study aims to assess the LULC changes along the Kalsi-Chakrata road corridor located in the Lesser Himalayan region of Uttarakhand state of India using remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) for the periods 2000-2010 and 2010-2019. The LULC maps were generated from multi-temporal satellite images of the Landsat -7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) series for 2000 and 2010, and the Linear Imaging Self-Scanning System IV (LISS IV) images from Resourcesat-1 for 2019. The extent of spatial landscape changes occurred in different LULC classes was performed through the cross-tabulation change matrix in the GIS module up to the individual village level. The results indicate that the forest cover of the area was intensively converted to open areas, sparse vegetation, and different land-use categories. These included agricultural land, built-up areas, and decreased from 47.27 % in 2000 to 36.66 % in 2019. During the same period, the open areas and agricultural areas were increased by 15.86 % and 4.49 %, respectively. Moreover, the built-up areas (both urban and rural settlements) were progressively increased from 0.33% in 2000 to 0.56 % in 2019. The conversion of forests and sparsely vegetative areas to agricultural land and rural settlements is closely associated with the increasing anthropogenic activities due to population growth, tourism, movement of heavy vehicles for mining and other economic activities. The changes in land-cover to land use classes are more prominent in Samalta Dadauli, Nithala, Bhugtari, and Udapalta villages located between Kalsi and Sahiya town. The reported maximum transition of forest areas into the open area, agricultural land, and sparse vegetation indicates the possible scarcity of water, which could link with the incidence of climatic or seasonal variation in the Lesser Himalayan terrain to the hydro-geomorphic and anthropogenic processes. The trend in LULC change at the village level gave the insight to help to prioritize future mitigation planning and sustainable development that are exceedingly convenient for the planners, policymakers, and local authorities for comprehensive forest management, biodiversity strategies, and necessary conservation

Abstract

The interest in the experience of legislative solutions to problems connected with the design and development of legal institutions in environmental protection in foreign countries, at first glance, is not directly related to the study of the laws of functioning and development of this legal institution. The relevance of the study is determined by the fact that such an interest appears as rather justified and even logical, if one is to proceed, firstly, from general ideas about the development of land legislation in the context of globalisation, and secondly, if one is to consider the desire of countries to more widely implement global and European standards of environmental policies and rights and approaches to environmental protection in general. The purpose of this article is determined by the identification the main problems of land protection legislation in the field of and form on their basis the effective system of environmental regulation, combining administrative and legislative instruments with economic, regulatory and market mechanisms. Analysis of international legal acts is used as the leading research method. It was determined that the positive experience in foreign countries related to the legal regulation of relations in legal protection of the environment allows transferring the theoretical ideas about the legal structures existing in other countries to the practical plane, which, in turn, allow to optimally regulate the appropriate circle of public relations, taking into consideration the relevant historical traditions, the internal structure of national legislation, the features of the development of environmental legislation of the respective country. The concept of protecting land from pollution by hazardous substances and ways of improving and adapting legislation in the field of waste management were proposed. The practical significance of the study is determined by the need to integrate the land legislation industry into national environmental legislation.

Abstract

Mansonia altissima A. Chev., a redwood producer species in tropical Africa, occurs as one small, isolated population in a highly anthropized landscape in Republic of Benin. We accessed the landscape pattern and population status to inform restauration action for the species. We established 20 one-ha permanent plots divided in 320 subplots (25 m × 25 m) in-situ and counted and measured M. altissima plants with diameter ≥ 1cm at base and 1.30 m above ground (DBH) in February 2017, 2018 and 2019. Based on the main disturbance factors, such as fire, human-caused damage to seedlings, harvesting of wood for fuel, and agriculture, we assigned the plots to one of three disturbance levels: poor, moderate, and strong. We grouped the plants into four life stages according to diameter size (cm): seedling (1 ≤ DBH < 5), sapling (5 ≤ DBH < 10), premature (10 ≤ DBH < 20), and mature (DBH ≥ 20). We used Landsat data of years 1986, 2002 and 2017 to quantify and analyze landscape changes and fragmentation. Results showed that the landscape was dramatically changed and fragmented between 2002 and 2017 due to disturbance increase. Semi-deciduous forest (SDF) containing M. altissima decreased, whereas woodlands and savannas increased. SDF was severely fragmented and disaggregated. In plots with strong disturbance, mortality rate was higher, whereas in plots with poor disturbance, it was lower and recruitment was highest. Mortality rate differed significantly among life stages and disturbance levels. Experimental restoration is required to identify locations where the species can establish young viable populations. Fire and other anthropogenic disturbance have to be controlled to ensure this natural population can provide seeds for restoration and conservation projects.

Abstract

The importance of communication in conflict situations between conservationists and farmers about problems related to agricultural practices such as erosion, biodiversity loss, and water quality has been highlighted frequently. However, in the Czech Republic, there is a very limited amount of scientific data about this issue. This article presents a literature review summarising evidence on how conflicts between farmers and environmentalists proceed; steps that can be taken to achieve progress in face-to-face communication and there is also a case study of a specific collaborative partnership from a small parish in South Moravia that focuses on improving natural values. Recommendations on how to build more constructive dialogue and develop cooperation between various groups are analysed, and principles that enhance dialogue and may contribute to overcoming disagreements through partnership are indicated. The collaborative partnership in the case study involves a farmer working together with a municipality and other stakeholders on a local level to improve nature conservation and ecosystem services. The majority of the general principles of collaboration and communication for conflict resolution that were identified in the literature review were fulfilled; nevertheless, the partnership currently has limited outreach as the two agribusiness companies which manage the majority of the land in the parish have not been included.

Abstract

Development of forest plantation is mainly intended to provide income opportunity and to ensure the improvement of the socioeconomics of society. Sabah Softwood Berhad (SSB) is one of the private companies that pioneered the development and commercialization of fast growing timber species and forest plantation. The Eucalyptus plantation in SSB was initiated in response to the emergence of fungal disease that implicated the environment. Nevertheless, the impacts of plantation to the environment regarding water use, soil erosion, nutrient loss, pest and disease, biodiversity, soil quality and hydrology are reviewed. The disputes among various scientists over the physiological and plantation aspects of Eucalyptus, especially their implication towards the environment are also discussed. This paper aims to present information on the impacts posed by the Eucalyptus plantation that will guide the planters and policy makers in facilitating a management plan to mitigate the impacts of this species to the environment.

Abstract

It is pre-requisite to conserve and protect the forest cover, therefore mapping of the forest distribution and monitoring of their temporal changes are also necessary. In the field of forestry, radar datasets have a high potential due to its ability to derive/extract information from the surface, sub-surface and even from the depth. The current work tries to utilize the capability of C-band radar datasets provided by Sentinel 1A/B mission to derive the required information for sensing the disturbances in the forest areas. Application of SAR or microwave remote sensing for forest disturbance mapping with dual-polarization is partially developed and have been attempted by limited researchers to process and interpret the derived results. Microwave datasets can map the areas with frequent cloud-cover due to its cloud penetrating capabilities in day-night operation mode. The present work tries to identify and locate the disturbances in forest areas to organize better understanding of detailed information for further analysis with the help of open archive microwave datasets incoherent to optical datasets.

Abstract

Land use / land cover (LULC) has been considered as one of the important bio-physical parameters and have significant affect on local environmental change, particularly increasing anthropogenic temperature. Remote sensing images from Landsat series satellites are a major information source for LULC change analysis. In the present investigation, long term changes in LULC and its negative impact on land surface temperature (LST) were analyzed using multi-temporal Landsat satellite images between 2000 to 2016. firstly LULC of the study area has been classified and temporal changes in land use classes were quantify, and observed that in most of the land use classes such as vegetation (-1.28 %), water bodies (-1.65 %), agriculture (-3.52) and open land (-2.43 %) have shown negative change, however large scale positive changes in built-up area (+8.87 %) has been observed during the analysis, which is mainly due to continuous urbanization and growth of population in the area. The classified thermal images from the same period also show mean temperature of the area has increased by 1.60 °C since last 16 years. The observation from the present study reveals that due to the large-scale land use change practices in urban and peri-urban area witnessed for the rising temperature due to loss natural vegetation and other natural resources.

Abstract

This paper discusses the threats to the running water habitats that are highly important to biodiversity the European Community in the Continental Biogeographical Region (CBR) of Europe, specifically in Poland. This study covers four water course habitat types distinguished in Natura 2000, which is a network of nature protection areas in the territory (3260, 3220, 3240, 3270 - the code of the habitat, as in Annex I of the Habitat Directive), occurring in 806 Special Areas of Conservation in Poland. Based on a multivariate analysis, we found significant differences in the conservation status of running water habitats resulting from a variety of threats, pressures, and activities. Agriculture has a number of negative impacts on running water habitats, which are most evident for the following habitats: 3260 > 3270. Forest management may have both negative (3260) and positive effects on habitats (3270). Natural system modifications strongly affect habitats 3240, 3270 > 3260. Among the negative anthropogenic influences are pollution (3260 > 3220); human intrusions, disturbances, and tourism (reported most often) (3260, 3270); transportation and service corridors (3260, and 3270); urbanization, residential, and commercial development tourism (3260); biological resource use other than for agriculture and forestry (3270 > 3260); and mining, extraction of materials, and energy production (3270). Geological events and natural catastrophes—most often inundation—were identified as important hazards for habitat 3240. The development of alien and invasive species strongly affects habitats 3240 > 3260, 3270, and natural biotic and abiotic processes affect habitats 3220 > 3260. Negative impacts associated with climate change were detected mostly for habitat 3260. Taking into account the threats identified, a list of recommended practices for running water habitat types is presented, to be considered in habitat conservation programmes.

Abstract

Changes in the ecological conditions of the cultivated coenosises caused by anthropogenic load have been shown by the example of several of the largest botanical gardens in Ukraine. That complex influence leads to the transformation of coenosises at stages II and III of anthropogenic degression. Changes in phyto- and avidiversity compositions have been shown using a transformation gradient. Positive correlations between compositions and diversity indices of bird communities and vegetation composition (diversity indices, dominance indices, evenness indices) have been detected. The values of the phytodiversity indices showed greater deviation from the normal conditions.

Abstract

The contribution of Green Infrastructure (GI) in vital areas such as regional development, climate change, agriculture, forestry and environmental protection is already acknowledged and listed as one of the priorities in several key EU policies, and is the basis for the EU Green Infrastructure Strategy. However, the concept is not yet fully integrated into actual planning strategies, in this respect the Czech Republic is no different. A major problem in doing so is a lack of guidelines/ how to identify and map GI using available sources and thus keeping costs down. The existing data sources for land cover or land use often do not fulfil the requirements in terms of thematic coverage, resolution or accuracy. In order to work around such limitations, we analyse the existing land use/land cover data in the Czech Republic from the GI perspective. Furthermore, we propose a GI mapping methodology based on the diagnosis of three mapping approaches at the regional level, grounded on the utilisation and processing of different data sets. We compared GI maps based on European data from CORINE Land Cover Database, Czech national database called Consolidated Layer of Ecosystems (CLE) and combination of Czech national and regional data and manual vectorization. Our results show that CORINE based GI map is suitable for transnational scale but unsuitable for regional scale. The CLE based GI map is good for both national and regional scale but its information on GI in urban areas is lacking. The detailed regional GI map is good for regional and to some degree even for local scale but its creation is time consuming. However, careful combination of existing national and regional data can provide good outcome in creating GI map usable for territorial planning.