Identifying Changes in Mangroves in Trat Province, Thailand and Koh Kong Province, Cambodia

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Studies showed that from 1960 to 1996 mangrove forests in Thailand decreased over time due to increasing shrimp cultivation in those areas. Both in Thailand and Cambodia, most of the farms were in the vicinity of mangrove forests and adversely affected the mangrove ecosystem. The focus of this research was to detect changes in the extent of mangroves and other land-use changes along the coastal area of Trat Province, Thailand and Koh Kong Province, Cambodia from 1996 to 2015. Object-oriented Nearest Neighbor classification approach was used to identify mangroves, non-mangrove trees, active shrimp farms, inactive shrimp farms, agricultural fields, and developed areas. The results indicate that mangrove forests decreased from 8% to 33% over time in both of the study areas, with the exception that mangroves increased by 7.7% in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia from 2009 to 2015. Agricultural fields, planted trees, and both active and inactive shrimp farms were primarily seen in place of mangrove areas.

Claudia Baldwin
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