Tracking the Role of Policies and Economic Factors in Driving the Forest Change Trajectories within the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Region of China: A Remote Sensing Perspective | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Though forest ecosystems play a critical role in enhancing ecological, environmental, economic, and societal sustainability, on a global scale, their future outlooks are uncertain given the wide-ranging threats they are exposed to. The uniqueness of this study is to provide a line of evidence in which forest change trajectories are not only tracked but also evaluated through the lenses of forestry and economic oriented events’ timelines. The dynamics of forest change trajectories were mined using a temporal model. To understand the forces driving the changes, the change trajectories were linked to the timelines when forestry policies and economic factors where adopted. During 1980–1990, the forest change trajectory assumed a peak (forest gain). This was interpreted as a response to the adoption of policies that promoted ecological conservation. During 1995–2010, the forest change trajectories reflected the response to the antagonistic effects of forest-oriented policies and the economy-oriented drivers. During 2010–2015, the forest change trajectories assumed a deep (forest loss). This was attributed as a response to the economy-oriented factors. However, inferences from the results indicated that deforestation driven by economic factors was restricted by forest management policies. Though the role of economic factors has promoted developments within the study area, forest policies still constrain illegal logging and play a key role in protecting forests. We hope that insights from this study will inform, support and guide decisions for precise and smart sustainable forest management plans.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Xian, Yuyang
Lu, Yongquan
Musyimi, Zipporah
Liu, Guilin


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