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Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Owabi Reservoir Catchment, Ghana: Implications for Livelihoods and Management

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Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
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Department of Theoretical & Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
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Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
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Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research, Beijing 100049, China
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Department of Agroecology - Climate and Water, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9070286
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract

Reservoir catchments in Ghana have undergone significant changes in recent years with major implications for socio-economic development and local livelihoods. We studied land use and land cover changes and their impacts on livelihoods in the Owabi reservoir catchment from 1970 to 2014 using Landsat, ERDAS Imagine and Arc Geographic Information System (ArcGIS 10.2) software supplemented with participatory approaches including focus group discussions, key informant interviews and questionnaire surveys with 400 households. Our results showed that, since 1970, 24.6% of high-density forests and 15.8% of sparse forests have disappeared, while the built-up area has increased from 9.8% to 56.6%. Additionally, the proportion of bare soil (areas that do not have vegetation cover due to forest clearing and other anthropogenic activities) has increased, while the areas of waterbodies have declined. We identified urbanisation and lack of community involvement in catchment management as the key factors driving the land cover changes that have adversely affected the livelihoods of the local fringe communities. This study highlights the threats from urbanisation to land cover changes and identifies the key drivers of land use change. For effective and sustainable management of natural resources, the local communities should be more actively involved in the decision-making process regarding the management of their individual catchments. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanisation; sustainable development goals; West Africa; participatory methods; Geographic Information System; climate change; food security urbanisation; sustainable development goals; West Africa; participatory methods; Geographic Information System; climate change; food security
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Antwi-Agyei, P.; Kpenekuu, F.; Hogarh, J.N.; Obiri-Danso, K.; Abaidoo, R.C.; Jeppesen, E.; Andersen, M.N. Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Owabi Reservoir Catchment, Ghana: Implications for Livelihoods and Management. Geosciences 2019, 9, 286.

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