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Linking pattern to process: intensity analysis of land change dynamics in Ghana correlate to past socioeconomic and policy contexts

Manzoor, S. A., Griffiths, G., Robinson, E. ORCID:, Shoyama, K. and Lukac, M. ORCID: (2022) Linking pattern to process: intensity analysis of land change dynamics in Ghana correlate to past socioeconomic and policy contexts. Land. ISSN 2073-445X (In Press)

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Spatio-temporal analysis of transitions in land cover is critical to understanding many ecological challenges, especially in environmentally vulnerable regions. For instance, in Sub-Saharan Africa, large-scale cropland expansion is expected due to the increasing demand for fuel, food, and fibre. Clearing land for cropland expansion is a driving factor in the degradation of natural ecosystems. We present a spatio-temporal analysis of land cover change in Ghana's Northern, Upper East, and Upper West provinces using Intensity Analysis between 1992-2003 and 2003-2015. The objectives of this study were to determine whether the intensity of land use and land cover (LULC) change is consistent between the two periods and to investigate the direction and extent of change for different LULC categories in northern Ghana. The methodology measures land cover changes at the interval, category, and transition levels. The results suggest that the annual rate of land change was higher between 1992-2003 compared to 2003-2015. Furthermore, the category level analysis reveals that the gains in the arable land and tree/forest cover classes during both time intervals were higher than the uniform intensity. The transition level analysis results indicate that most of the gains in arable land and tree/forest cover came at the cost of semi-arid shrublands in both periods. There is also evidence of local increases in forest cover, likely linked to afforestation policies established by the Ghanian government; however, overall there is a loss of natural habitat. The study provides data to improve our understanding of the magnitude and direction of land cover change, essential for the development of policy at national and sub-national levels designers to mitigate the impact of land cover change on the livelihoods of local people and the environment.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:105996

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