Land use and land cover changes driven by expansion of eucalypt plantations in the Western Gurage Watersheds, Centeral-south Ethiopia

Zerga, Belay, Warkineh, Bikila, Teketay, Demel, Woldetsadik, Muluneh and Sahle, Mesfin, (2021). Land use and land cover changes driven by expansion of eucalypt plantations in the Western Gurage Watersheds, Centeral-south Ethiopia. Trees, Forests and People, 5 1-12

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Zerga, Belay
    Warkineh, Bikila
    Teketay, Demel
    Woldetsadik, Muluneh
    Sahle, Mesfin
    Title Land use and land cover changes driven by expansion of eucalypt plantations in the Western Gurage Watersheds, Centeral-south Ethiopia
    Appearing in Trees, Forests and People
    Volume 5
    Publication Date 2021-04-03
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier B.V.
    Start page 1
    End page 12
    Language eng
    Abstract Land use and land cover (LULC) change is a common trend in all parts of the globe. The possible reasons might be economic, political, social or cultural motives. In Ethiopia, most of the rural and urban people are highly dependent on eucalypts for various purposes, particularly, for fuel wood and construction materials. In the study area, Western Gurage Watersheds of Omo-Gibe Basin, eucalypt plantations have become the emergent and dominant activity next to growing Enset. The specific objectives of this study were to assess the land use and land cover changes driven by eucalypt plantations over time and agro-ecological extent, and to identify socio-economic, demographic, and environmental factors that facilitated expansion of eucalypts plantation. Landsat images from 1987 (TM), 2001 (ETM) and 2017 (Landsat 8 OLI) were used for detecting LULC changes. Digital image processing operations, i.e. haze removal, geo-referencing, contrast enhancement and classification, were completed using ERDAS Imagine 2011 Software. During the period between 1987 and 2017, the area cover of LULC types, namely plantation forest, Enset-based agroforestry, cereal crop and built-up areas increased in the study watersheds at the expenses of natural forests and grassland. The total forest cover declined in the study period from 1987-2000 and, then, increased from 2001-2017 as a result of expansion of eucalypts in bare land, grazing land and cereal crop land use types. The drivers for the expansion of eucalypts in the watersheds are population growth, ‘Meskel’ and ‘Arafah’ celebrations, land degradation and conservation, road development, increased access to markets, and economic factors, such as the growing need for fuel wood, construction materials, and growing need for money. The divergent interest of stakeholders, skepticism and debate around eucalypts are presented; call for further scientific investigations and management options are recommended.
    Keyword Eucalypts expansion
    Landsat images
    Land use/cover changes
    Plantation forest
    Socioeconomic factors
    Suitable management
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2021
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2021.100087
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    Created: Thu, 15 Jul 2021, 16:28:26 JST by Rachel Nunn on behalf of UNU IAS