Long-term observation of the earth is essential for studying the factors affecting global environmental changes. Digital earth technology can facilitate the monitoring of global environmental change with its ability to process vast amounts of information. In this study, we map the forest cover change of Myanmar from 2000 to 2005 using a training data automation procedure and support vector machines algorithm. Our results show that Myanmar's forests have declined 0.68% annually over this six-year period. We validated our derived change results and found the overall accuracy to be greater than 88%. We also assessed forest loss from protected areas, areas close to roads, and areas subject to fire, which were most likely to lose forested area. The results revealed the main reasons for forest losses in some hotspots to be increased agricultural conversion, fire, and the construction of highways. This information is useful for identifying the driving forces behind forest changes and to support environmental policy development in Myanmar.
- Forest cover change
- protected area