2017 Volume 8 Issue 1 Pages 93-103
Land use without proper land management may cause deforestation and other negative impacts on ecosystem services (ESs), as defined in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of 2005. In Laos, natural resource sectors have received many investments in the past decades, during which a loss of ESs occurred. The aims of this study were to assess impacts on the potential provisions of ESs caused by land cover changes. The Savannakhet province in Laos was selected for the case study. Land cover changes were investigated using Landsat satellite images from 1988. A land cover map for 2010 was obtained from the government. After classifying the image into five land cover types, spatial analyses of the ESs were conducted by utilizing the primary unit values of six ESs. The results indicated that forests were converted to agricultural areas. Most of the potential provisions of ESs decreased due to these conversions in the past two decades.