Next Article in Journal
Bundles and Hotspots of Multiple Ecosystem Services for Optimized Land Management in Kentucky, United States
Previous Article in Journal
Land Use Transition and Driving Forces in Chinese Loess Plateau: A Case Study from Pu County, Shanxi Province
Open AccessArticle

Land Cover Change in the Blue Nile River Headwaters: Farmers’ Perceptions, Pressures, and Satellite-Based Mapping

1
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Woldia University, P.O. Box 400 Woldia, Ethiopia
2
Center for Environment and Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 3880 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3
Water and Land Resource Center, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 3880 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
4
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2021, 10(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010068
Received: 13 November 2020 / Revised: 7 January 2021 / Accepted: 8 January 2021 / Published: 14 January 2021
The headwaters of the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia contain fragile mountain ecosystems and are highly susceptible to land degradation that impacts water quality and flow dynamics in a major transboundary river system. This study evaluates the status of land use/cover (LULC) change and key drivers of change over the past 31 years through a combination of satellite remote sensing and surveying of the local understanding of LULC patterns and drivers. Seven major LULC types (forest land, plantation forest, grazing land, agriculture land, bush and shrub land, bare land, and water bodies) from Landsat images of 1986, 1994, 2007, and 2017 were mapped. Agriculture and plantation forest land use/cover types increased by 21.4% and 368.8%, respectively, while other land use/cover types showed a decreasing trend: water body by 50.0%, bare land by 7.9%, grassland by 41.7%, forest by 28.9%, and bush and shrubland by 38.4%. Overall, 34.6% of the landscape experienced at least one LULC transition over the past 31 years, with 15.3% representing the net change and 19.3% representing the swap change. The percentage change in plantation forest land increased with an increasing altitude and slope gradient during the study period. The mapped LULC changes are consistent with the pressures reported by local residents. They are also consistent with root causes that include population growth, land tenure and common property rights, persistent poverty, weak enforcement of rules and low levels of extension services, a lack of public awareness, and poor infrastructure. Hence, the drivers for LULC should be controlled, and sustainable resources use is required; otherwise, these resources will soon be lost and will no longer be able to play their role in socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: LULC change; drivers; pressures; North Gojjam sub-basin; remote sensing; GIS LULC change; drivers; pressures; North Gojjam sub-basin; remote sensing; GIS
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ewunetu, A.; Simane, B.; Teferi, E.; Zaitchik, B.F. Land Cover Change in the Blue Nile River Headwaters: Farmers’ Perceptions, Pressures, and Satellite-Based Mapping. Land 2021, 10, 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010068

AMA Style

Ewunetu A, Simane B, Teferi E, Zaitchik BF. Land Cover Change in the Blue Nile River Headwaters: Farmers’ Perceptions, Pressures, and Satellite-Based Mapping. Land. 2021; 10(1):68. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ewunetu, Alelgn; Simane, Belay; Teferi, Ermias; Zaitchik, Benjamin F. 2021. "Land Cover Change in the Blue Nile River Headwaters: Farmers’ Perceptions, Pressures, and Satellite-Based Mapping" Land 10, no. 1: 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010068

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop