ZEF launches new project on mapping of forest cover in Central Asia

August 18, 2014.  

A new project launched at ZEF aims to assess spatial extent and tree cover in major forest ecosystems in a number of countries in Central Asia. The region has diverse climatic and biotic zones with various agricultural and forest ecosystems. Forests are crucial elements of the regional ecologies and important carbon sinks, although occupying a relative small fraction of the land.

This project aims to map forest cover in Central Asia for providing the basis for a range of applications, such as quantifying of biomass and carbon stocks”, explains project leader Junior Professor Asia Khamzina, who is based at ZEF and initiated the project. “Such information is essential for assessing the current role of local forests in climate change mitigation and for planning appropriate forest management strategies. In particular, we intend to evaluate most widely used land and tree cover products using an inter-comparisons approach. In addition, we will develop a regionalized procedure to map forest and tree cover in Central Asia using Landsat and MODIS imagery”, adds Dr. Khamzina.

A spatially accurate inventory of the current forest cover in Central Asia is largely missing. The main reason is that regular, standardized inventories have not been conducted in the region after the Soviet Union broke up. With the release of coarse resolution satellite imagery (e.g. MODIS) and the open access to a fine-resolution archive (e.g. Landsat), initiatives of global land cover mapping have evolved rapidly over the past. However, the existing global products remain to be validated for the Central Asian region.

The project is conducted in cooperation with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and local partners in Central Asia. The project is funded by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) through the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) “Forests, Trees and Agroforestry”. Funding has been acquired for one year.

Team at ZEF: Jr.-Prof. Dr. <link http: www.zef.de external-link-new-window external link in new>Asia Khamzina and Dr. <link http: www.zef.de external-link-new-window external link in new>He Yin


Asia Khamzina

Prof. Dr. Asia Khamzina


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