BIOMASS AND CARBON STOCK ESTIMATION USING IN-SITU OBSERVATIONS AND GIS IN GILGIT BALTISTAN, PAKISTAN
Keywords: Aboveground Biomass, Carbon Sequestration, Remote Sensing, Landsat8, Vegetation Indices, Biomass Equations, REDD+
Abstract. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and other greenhouse gases are rising day by day due to anthropogenic activities which lead to global warming and cause natural disasters. Thus REDD+ comes up with an initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation through Carbon accounting, in which the under developing countries Measure, Report, and Verify (MRV) the sum of Above Ground Biomass (AGB)/carbon stored in a particular forest. Nonetheless, the major challenge for REDD+ is to find an accurate method for biomass estimation. The purpose of this study was to model and map the AGB and carbon stock of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. For this purpose, we linked Landsat 8 and forest inventory data to assess the potential of Vegetation Indices (Vis) derived AGB estimation. Inventory data consisted of the tree measurements from 480 plots that data was collected in the year (June–Oct) 2016 in a 72,971 km2 (28,174 sq mi) study area, in Gilgit-Baltistan. Out of these plots, 287 was used in Calibration and 191 is used for Validation. This paper provides a regression equation between the reflection values from the Landsat-8 satellite image and sample areas where terrestrial aboveground biomass (AGB) was calculated by direct measurement method. As a result of the calculations made, a positive linear correlation between AGB and NDVI was relatively high compared to other vegetation indices i.e 0.59 in the year 2016 or for the year 2013.