Home Articles Determining ecological significance of Afghan refugee hosting sites in Pakistan

Determining ecological significance of Afghan refugee hosting sites in Pakistan

Qaisar Nadeem
GIS / Image Analyst
Integrated Petroleum Consultants, Islamabad Pakistan
Phone. (+92 51) 210 2068
Email: [email protected]

Salman Ashraf
Manager GIS
World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan
Phone. (+92 42) 588 2069
Email: [email protected]

 

Abstract
Decision-making is a complex process, influenced by many factors, both human and non-human. GIS is able to provide the results, which can help the decision-makers to achieve the decision. It is due to this fact that GIS is being used by different policy makers round the globe and is playing an important role at various levels, both in the government and private organizations.

In this project GIS has been used to identify the ecological significance of Afghan refugee hosting sites in Pakistan, to assess their impacts on the ecology of Pakistan. Different spatial queries have been applied to available secondary ecological data to calculate different indices. Wildlife richness index is determined where the home range of key birds and mammal species is intersecting with refugee hosting sites. Wildlife threat index for each site is determined by calculating the percentage of IUCN's red-list species distribution for each refugee site. Average slope index and protected areas proximity index around each site have also been calculated. On the bases of these indices Normalized Ecological Significance Index (NESI) is developed and assigned to each site. A relational fauna distribution database has also been employed.

It has been found that GIS is a reliable, efficient and cost-effective tool to help decision-making process with a candid amount of accuracy. It is also observed that topography influences the accuracy of any decision, made on the basis of proximity analyses.