Impact Of Mining On Vegetation Cover: A Case Study Of Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality

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ABSTRACT Land use and land cover (LULC) change, also known as land cover change is a general term for the human and physical modification of the earth’s terrestrial surface. LULC changes are the direct and indirect consequences of human actions to secure essential resources for a successful livelihood. It has therefore become very necessary to analyze such changes for the effective management of natural resources and the protection of our environment to ensure its continuous existence and usage. Anthropogenic factors such as urbanization, mining and population increase in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality are causing rapid changes to LULC. These factors and others are putting a lot of pressure on the forest vegetation and this has dire consequences on the availability and protection of the vegetative cover. In view of this, the study focused on assessing the impact of mining on vegetation cover with particular focus on Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality. Multi-spectral satellite images of the study area from 1986 to 2016 were spatially analyzed to identify the LULC change patterns. Modelling and analysis of these images were performed using Erdas Imagine Software and R. Six LULC classes were identified including: forest, open vegetation, cultivated areas, bare lands, built-up and mine sites. The results showed that during the period under study (1986-2016) there have been losses in forest, cultivated land and open vegetation while bare lands, built-up and mine sites have seen substantial increases. Also, an annual rate of change of 5% was realized within the 30-year period under study.
Thesis Submitted To The Postgraduate School, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology, Kumasi, Ghana In Partial Fulfilment Of The Requirements For The Award Of The Degree Of Master Of Philosophy (Mphil.) In Geographical Information Systems