Land use and cover changes in the Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region
The land use and cover pattern of a region is an outcome of natural and anthropogenic processes. Land use and land cover change have become a central component of current strategies in managing natural resources and monitoring environmental changes. The present study was carried out with an integrated approach using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques together with socio-economic data for land cover change detection. Landsat images of 1991, 2001 and 2009 imagery were used to evaluate land cover to quantify land use changes of the Mampong Municipality by using GIS and remote sensing techniques. The aims of the study were to create a land use land cover classification scheme, determine the trend, rate and magnitude of land use land cover change and to show the extent of forest cover and settlement using image overlays by the process known as image mosaicing, and finally, evaluate the socio-economic factors that drive land use changes. Supervised classification was used to prepare land use maps. Image classification was carried out by emphasizing four main categories. Ground verification was done in January, 2014 followed with questionnaire survey in April. The study revealed that there is a net decrease in forest cover from 1991 to 2009. In between 1991 and 2001, the forest cover rapidly decreased from 44% of the total land mass of the Municipality to 26.7%, and a steady decrease to 24.18% in 2009. Settlement jumped exponentially from 3.1% in 1991 to 23.2% in 2001 and further increased sharply to 37.96%. Farmlands appreciated by 1.5% from the initial 24.4% in 2001 and a drastic decrease to 13.68% in 2009.Grassland was reduced by 4.3% from the initial 28.5% in 2001 and marginally decreased by 0.02% in 2009.The overall accuracy of the map was 80%.Suggestions were made at the end of the work on ways in which land can be used optimally, and going forward there is the need for more precise and spatially congruent data, so that there could be harmony between resources and the local users.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science, 2015