Mapping Forest Loss and Carbon-Dioxide Sequestration Rate Between 2000 – 2015 using Remote Sensing in Akpaka Forest Reserve, Onitsha North L.G.A Of Anambra State (Published)
This study investigated the extent of forest resource loss in Akpaka Forest Reserve through mapping forest loss and rate of carbon-dioxide sequestration from year 2000-2015 using remote sensing. To map forest loss in the study area between year 2000 – 2015, four Land-sat images (Land-sat 8 thematic mapper; Land-sat 7 enhanced thematic; Land-sat 8 operational and Imagery covering four epochs years 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 respectively) were downloaded from www.earthexplorer.usgs.gov. Image pre-processing was done to correct for atmospheric errors and scan line errors, after which an image subset was done to cut out the extent of open forest, water body and built up areas from the images. Normalized differential vegetation index was calculated from the red and near infra-red bands of the Land-sat images and used to determine carbon-dioxide sequestration in open forest in the study area. Results showed that in year 2000 open forest; water body and built up area covered 49.19%, 13.04% and 37.77% of the study area respectively. In year 2005, open forest water body and built up area covered 45.78%, 13.31% and 40.50% respectively. In year 2010 open forest was 43.81%, water body was 13.39%, and built up area was 42.80%. In year 2015 open forest decreased further to 41.97%, water body was 13.43% and built up area increased to 44.60%. This implies that there was a continuous loss of forest resources in the reserve while built up area increased steadily. Rate of carbondioxide sequestration indicated that for open forest 11.13kg/ha of carbon dioxide sequestrated between 2000 and 2005; 10.66kg/ha between 2005 and 2010 and 10.54kg/ha between 2010 and 2015. This implies that rate of carbon dioxide sequestration for the period under study is on steady decline due to forest loss and upsurge of built up area in Akpaka Forest Reserve. The study recommended Protection, Production and Legal Initiatives as means of preventing and repairing forest loss in the study area among other suggestions.