Special Issue "Physical and Socio-Economic Effects of Land Use / Land Cover Change in Africa"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michael Nones
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hydrology and Hydrodynamics Department, Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences, 01-452 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: fluvial hydro-morphodynamics; remote sensing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Elias Symeonakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Building, Manchester M15 6BH, UK
Interests: land use/cover change; land degradation; desertification; multi-temporal analysis; sub-Saharan Africa; Mediterranean
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Mulatie Mekonnen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
Interests: GIS; remote sensing applications in natural resources management; soil and water conservation and watershed management; degraded highlands restoration/rehabilitation; sediment dynamics; landscape connectivity; sustainable reservoirs use
Dr. Dereje Adeba
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, Wollega University, Shambu 140417, Ethiopia
Interests: water resources engineering; surface and groundwater hydrology; watershed hydrology; river basin management; water allocation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In Africa, land use and land cover (LULC) changes across scales are among the main drivers of physical alterations of the environment, with consequent socioeconomic impacts. At the larger scale, for example, the increase in the use of land for agricultural purposes is linked to deforestation and forest degradation, as well as to increased carbon emissions. At the regional and local scales, LULC change can lead to increases in soil erosion and sediment yield, which, in turn, can reduce the lifetime of reservoirs and the potential for power production. Such changes can have a significant impact on the development of African countries, the habits and livelihoods of local populations, and the economic structures of African societies.

International programmes and mechanisms, such as the United Nations’ (UN) Land Degradation Neutrality initiative or the UN’s Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), are now in place to counterbalance the loss or degradation of ecosystem services from soils and forests with the recovery of degraded areas, putting in place measures to conserve, sustainably manage, and restore the land. These initiatives often involve multi-stakeholder engagement and planning across scales and sectors.

The present Special Issue would like to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the effects of LULC changes on the African environment, looking at both the physical and the socioeconomic aspects, and combining examples spanning from the continental to the local scale. This Special Issue aims to cover the broader field of LULC changes, combining monitoring techniques and numerical and theoretical approaches with field evidence, bringing to light the effects that LULC variations can have on the natural environment and associated ecosystem services, as well as on the socioeconomic structure of affected communities.

We welcome manuscripts from all disciplines (including natural and social sciences), using a variety of methods and approaches. Particularly encouraged are interdisciplinary papers and review articles.

Prof. Dr. Michael Nones
Dr. Elias Symeonakis
Dr. Mulatie Mekonnen
Dr. Dereje Adeba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Africa
  • ecosystem services
  • land use/land cover (LULC) change
  • land degradation
  • sustainable land use
  • Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)
  • Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Hydrological Responses to Land Use Land Cover Changes in the Fincha’a Watershed, Ethiopia
Land 2021, 10(9), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090916 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Land use land cover (LULC) changes are highly pronounced in African countries, as they are characterized by an agriculture-based economy and a rapidly growing population. Understanding how land use/cover changes (LULCC) influence watershed hydrology will enable local governments and policymakers to formulate and [...] Read more.
Land use land cover (LULC) changes are highly pronounced in African countries, as they are characterized by an agriculture-based economy and a rapidly growing population. Understanding how land use/cover changes (LULCC) influence watershed hydrology will enable local governments and policymakers to formulate and implement effective and appropriate response strategies to minimize the undesirable effects of future land use/cover change or modification and sustain the local socio-economic situation. The hydrological response of the Ethiopia Fincha’a watershed to LULCC that happened during 25 years was investigated, comparing the situation in three reference years: 1994, 2004, and 2018. The information was derived from Landsat sensors, respectively Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM, and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS. The various LULC classes were derived via ArcGIS using a supervised classification system, and the accuracy assessment was done using confusion matrixes. For all the years investigated, the overall accuracies and the kappa coefficients were higher than 80%, with 2018 as the more accurate year. The analysis of LULCC revealed that forest decreased by 20.0% between the years 1994–2004, and it decreased by 11.8% in the following period 2004–2018. Such decline in areas covered by forest is correlated to an expansion of cultivated land by 16.4% and 10.81%, respectively. After having evaluated the LULCC at the basin scale, the watershed was divided into 18 sub-watersheds, which contained 176 hydrologic response units (HRUs), having a specific LULC. Accounting for such a detailed subdivision of the Fincha’a watershed, the SWAT model was firstly calibrated and validated on past data, and then applied to infer information on the hydrological response of each HRU on LULCC. The modelling results pointed out a general increase of average water flow, both during dry and wet periods, as a consequence of a shift of land coverage from forest and grass towards settlements and build-up areas. The present analysis pointed out the need of accounting for past and future LULCC in modelling the hydrological responses of rivers at the watershed scale. Full article
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Review

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Review
A Review on Land Use and Land Cover Change in Ethiopian Basins
Land 2021, 10(6), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060585 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Land Use Land Cover (LULC) changes analysis is one of the most useful methodologies to understand how the land was used in the past years, what types of detections are to be expected in the future, as well as the driving forces and [...] Read more.
Land Use Land Cover (LULC) changes analysis is one of the most useful methodologies to understand how the land was used in the past years, what types of detections are to be expected in the future, as well as the driving forces and processes behind these changes. In Ethiopia, Africa, the rapid variations of LULC observed in the last decades are mainly due to population pressure, resettlement programs, climate change, and other human- and nature-induced driving forces. Anthropogenic activities are the most significant factors adversely changing the natural status of the landscape and resources, which exerts unfavourable and adverse impacts on the environment and livelihood. The main goal of the present work is to review previous studies, discussing the spatiotemporal LULC changes in Ethiopian basins, to find out common points and gaps that exist in the current literature, to be eventually addressed in the future. A total of 25 articles, published from 2011 to 2020, were selected and reviewed, focusing on LULC classification using ArcGIS and ERDAS imagine software by unsupervised and maximum likelihood supervised classification methods. Key informant interview, focal group discussions, and collection of ground truth information using ground positioning systems for data validation were the major approaches applied in most of the studies. All the analysed research showed that, during the last decades, Ethiopian lands changed from natural to agricultural land use, waterbody, commercial farmland, and built-up/settlement. Some parts of forest land, grazing land, swamp/wetland, shrubland, rangeland, and bare/ rock out cropland cover class changed to other LULC class types, mainly as a consequence of the increasing anthropogenic pressure. In summary, these articles confirmed that LULC changes are a direct result of both natural and human influences, with anthropogenic pressure due to globalisation as the main driver. However, most of the studies provided details of LULC for the past decades within a specific spatial location, while they did not address the challenge of forecasting future LULC changes at the watershed scale, therefore reducing the opportunity to develop adequate basin-wide management strategies for the next years. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

  1. Shiferaw Regasa M., Nones M., Institute of Geophysics PAN, Poland: “Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Ethiopian Fincha River Basin.”
  2. Dereje A., Wollega University, Ethiopia: “Water Footprint and Its Share in Per Capita Water Availability: The Case of Ethiopia.”
  3. Giger M., Zeleke G., Breu T., Hurni K., Centre for Development and Environment University of Bern, Switzerland.
  4. Kiteme B., Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Arid and Semi-Arid Land Development Nanyuki, Kenya.
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