Dr. L.T.S. Guite, Amritee Bora
Abstract: The state Meghalaya is known for its diverse, extensive and luxuriant forests. The diverse topography and varied climatic condition the natural vegetation of the sate ranges from Sub-tropic to Tropical. Due to both urbanization and its ethnic culture the forest cover of the state undergoes vegetal degradation processes, which, is decreasing forest cover area and changing the original quality of the forest cover. Applying remote sensing and GIS techniques the present study tries to assess the present status of forest of the selected study area and examine it in relation to possible socio economic factors. The primary aim of the paper is to find out the changes in forest cover due to rapid rate of urbanization and other anthropogenic factors and calculate the deforestation rate. The present study also tries to assess the temporal changes in land cover with help of change matrix. The results show that between the years 2003 to 2011, area about 110. 05 square kilometers under goes vegetal degradation and converted to non-forest contributed by scrubs 28.12 square kilometers, open forest 77 square kilometers, unclassified forest 4.93 square kilometers.
Keywords: Forest cover & type, change detection, forest cover estimation, deforestation rate, change matrix