Land Cover and Land Use Changes between 1986 and 2018, and Preliminary Carbon Footprint Implications for Manoka Island (Littoral Region of Cameroon)

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Land and resource use patterns in coastal areas play a key role in the resilience of ecosystems and populations to climate change. Knowing their spatiotemporal dynamics therefore constitutes a strategic tool to help decision-makers. Based on documentary research, geographic information system (GIS), image processing, and field work, this article maps land use on Manoka Island between 1986 and 2018 and identifies the drivers of change and avenues for intervention with a view to strengthening climate change mitigation. The results show a decrease of 4% in forest area on Manoka Island, representing an average of 112 ha of inland forest and 267 ha of mangrove converted between 1986 and 2018. This increases the degraded forest area by 268% (degraded mangrove and degraded inland forest) and exposes some camps to erosion and flooding. Reduction in forest area is mainly linked to the harvesting of fuelwood and the conversion of forests into farmland and residential areas. Settlements have increased in area from 15 ha in 1986 to 90.4 ha in 2018 to the detriment of natural spaces.

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