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Open AccessArticle

Drivers and Implications of Land Use/Land Cover Dynamics in Finchaa Catchment, Northwestern Ethiopia

1
Hydrology and Applied Meteorology Department, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Satower Str. 48, 18059 Rostock, Germany
2
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Jimma University, Jimma 378, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9040113
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 6 April 2020 / Published: 8 April 2020
Understanding the trajectories and extents of land use/land cover change (LULCC) is important to generate and provide helpful information to policymakers and development practitioners about the magnitude and trends of LULCC. This study presents the contributing factors of LULCC, the extent and implications of these changes for sustainable land use in the Finchaa catchment. Data from Landsat images 1987, 2002, and 2017 were used to develop the land use maps and quantify the changes. A supervised classification with the maximum likelihood classifier was used to classify the images. Key informant interviews and focused group discussions with transect walks were used for the socio-economic survey. Over the past three decades, agricultural land, commercial farm, built-up, and water bodies have increased while forestland, rangeland, grazing land, and swampy areas have decreased. Intensive agriculture without proper management practice has been a common problem of the catchment. Increased cultivation of steep slopes has increased the risk of erosion and sedimentation of nearby water bodies. Multiple factors, such as biophysical, socio-economic, institutional, technological, and demographic, contributed to the observed LULCC in the study area. A decline in agricultural yield, loss of biodiversity, extended aridity and drought, land and soil degradation, and decline of water resources are the major consequences of LULCC in the Finchaa catchment. The socio-economic developments and population growth have amplified the prolonged discrepancy between supply and demand for land and water in the catchment. More comprehensive and integrated watershed management policies will be indispensable to manage the risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: drivers; Finchaa; land use/land cover; sustainable; watershed management drivers; Finchaa; land use/land cover; sustainable; watershed management
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Dibaba, W.T.; Demissie, T.A.; Miegel, K. Drivers and Implications of Land Use/Land Cover Dynamics in Finchaa Catchment, Northwestern Ethiopia. Land 2020, 9, 113.

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