GIS and Remote sensing based forest cover change detection and its impacts on the income of the rural communities: The case of Gesha District, keffa Zone, SNNPRS, and Ethiopia (Published)
Deforestation is a complex phenomenon that has serious environmental, economic and social impacts on the income of the community. As such, it is important to investigate and understand the causes, which play major roles in forest cover change and its impacts on the income of the communities. The objectives of this study to detect the extent, rate and pattern of LU/LC change in general and forest cover change detection in particular over the last 30 years of Gesha district. Three dates of Landsat image data of the 1988, 2002 and 2018 were used to produce land cover map in general and forest cover map in particular. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), image differencing and post-classification comparison change detection methods were employed. In addition to this, socioeconomic data were used in explaining the drivers of forest cover changes in the study area. The results showed that during the last 30 years, forest cover declined from 96913ha in 1988 to 83209.2ha in 2002 and 69019.8 ha in the year 2018. The annual rate of forest cover change between 1988 and 2002 was 929ha/year. The socioeconomic factors like population growth, the demand for the expansion of agricultural land, fuel wood and construction materials were the major driving forces for the observed forest cover changes. Therefore, in order to reduce the problem of forest cover change, remedial actions are recommended.
Keywords: Gesha district, accuracy assessment, forest cover change, land use/land cover, landsat image