Title: Monitoring 25 years of land cover change dynamics in Africa: A sample based remote sensing approach
Citation: APPLIED GEOGRAPHY vol. 29 no. 4 p. 501-512
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC41874
ISSN: 0143-6228
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/apgeog
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.10.004
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The study examines the changes in sub-Saharan¿s natural land cover resources for a 25 year period. We assess these changes in four broad land cover classes ¿ forests, natural non-forest vegetation, agriculture and barren ¿ by using high spatial resolution Earth observing satellites. Two sets of sample images, one ¿historical¿ targeted at 1975 and a second ¿recent¿ targeted at the year 2000, have been selected through a stratified random sampling technique over the study area, targeting a sampling rate of 1% in each of the strata. The results, presented at eco-region level and aggregated at sub-Saharan level, show a 57% increase in agriculture area at the expense of natural vegetation which has itself decreased by 21% over the period, with nearly 5 million hectares forest and non-forest natural vegetation lost per year. The impacts of these changes on the environment on one site and on the socio-economy on the other site are discussed and possible pressures on human well being are highlighted.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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