Investigating rapid deforestation and carbon dioxide release in Bangladesh using geospatial information from remote sensing data
Keywords:Remote Sensing, Deforestation, Ecology, Rohingya Refugees
Rapid deforestation over the last few years due to the massive influx of refugees from neighboring Myanmar has been reported and is seen as a precursor to environmental disaster, raising the need for more effective monitoring of forest areas. The availability of data from several space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) missions allow enhanced monitoring of forest areas. The objective of this study was to map deforestation in two selected areas located in northeast and southeast Bangladesh using Sentinel-1 imageries and determine the applicability of SAR in forest monitoring in Bangladesh. Towards these purpose satellite imageries from 2017 and 2018 collected by Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1 Band SAR data in dual-polarization mode were used. In the northeastern area of interest, temporary deforestation was detected, which had occurred in low lying areas due to prolonged flooding. The second area of interest, in the southeast, revealed man-made deforestation in high land areas on an immense scale due to the influx and settlement of seven hundred thousand refugees. The results of the two sub-studies demonstrate the applicability and need of SAR data to effectively monitor deforestation in Bangladesh especially as it allows isolating natural and anthropogenic deforestation.
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