Land use and land cover changes and associated driving forces in North Western Lowlands of Ethiopia

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Woodlands in Ethiopia are under heavy pressure and shrinking overtime. Despite the woodland's economic and ecological importance's, little attention has been given to monitor the condition of the resources through time. The aim of this study is to assess the status of western dry woodlands of Ethiopia by analyzing land use and land cover (LULC) dynamics and recommend their future sustainable management and development in view of their multi-functions, climate change mitigation potentials as well as local livelihood improvement. Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Positioning System (GIS) were used to assess the LULC dynamics in three regional states (Amhara, Tigray, and Benshangul-Gumz). Three study sites: Metema, Kafta-Humera and Sherkole were selected, respectively. In all study sites the classes of agricultural land and bare land have expanded at an average rate of 2322.9 and 726.6 ha/year, respectively. On the other hand, the woodland cover in the three districts was decreasing at an average rate of 2833.8 ha/year in the past 25 years (1985-2010). The woodland cover was transformed mainly to agriculture at an average rate of 2057.9 ha/year.

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