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Assessing land use and land cover change in the Wassa West District of Ghana using remote sensing

Vast tracts of forests are lost globally every year especially in the developing countries of the tropics due to various human activities such as lumbering, farming, bush fires, surface mining and urbanization. The rainforest in Ghana has experienced rapid depletion since the 1980s. The impact of deforestation is widespread, affecting the livelihoods of local people and disrupting the tropical ecosystem. There is a serious concern in the study area about climatic change, soil erosion, siltation of rivers and loss in biodiversity which have an adverse impact on traditional medicinal plants of the local people. The study examined the extent of land cover change through image differencing of Landsat TM 1986 and 2002. The image classification indicated that, vegetative cover from 1986 to 2002 has been reducing whiles land use activities have been increasing. Closed canopy, open canopy and plantation have significantly diminished and land use activities especially built ups, farms, mining and openfields are more than doubled. The driving forces for the change in land cover are population growth, lumbering, socio-economic and cultural practices of the people. Lumbering and mining have been some of the major causes of the changing landscape in primary forest. Also the reliance on wood for domestic energy and the need to increase food productivity to feed growing population have also contributed greatly to the rapid depletion of the vegetative cover.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Author(s) John Manyimadin Kusimi
Last Updated March 25, 2021, 19:40 (UTC)
Created March 25, 2021, 19:40 (UTC)
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Date 2008-07-12
Content Type Publications
Primary Category Land Use & Land Cover
Sub Category LULC
Country Name Ghana
Location-Region/City Wassa
Location Latitude 5.953976749
Location Longitude -1.955612516
Publishing Organization New Light Technologies