Land Use Trends Analysis Using SPOT 5 Images and Its Effect on the Landscape of Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
A large part of the steep mountain land in Peninsular Malaysia is covered by forests. Cameron Highlands is a mountainous region with a climate favorable to the cultivation of tea, subtropical vegetables, and flowers. Rapid economic growth and land use practices, however, have altered the environmental landscape of the area. Thus, this study was carried out to examine the rate of loss and pattern of fragmentation of the tropical mountain forests in Cameron Highlands. Temporal remotely sensed data (SPOT 5 images) of the years 2000, 2005, and 2010 were processed to develop a land use map of each year, which then analyzed their landscape fragmentation using GIS. Results showed that forest fragmentation occurred particularly in the period between 2005 and 2010. In 10 years the Cameron Highlands had lost about 2 % of its forested areas, mainly from agricultural activities. This study concludes that Cameron Highlands needs conservation efforts that should be focused on the management of the natural system and restoration project, and on management of the external influences, particularly on sustainable forest exploitation in the highland.
KeywordsRemote sensing Highland landscape Land use/land cover change Fragmentation
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia through Fundamental Research Grant Scheme FRGS-5523434 and Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency for providing satellite data (SPOT 5).
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