Land use/vegetation cover dynamics in Kagoma Forest Reserve,Tanzania

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The Miombo woodland ecosystem has been and continues to face conservation threats.

Understanding of changes happening in such ecosystem overtime is important for establishing management baseline data.

This study assessed the extent of land use/cover change and the socio-economic drivers of land use and vegetation cover changes in and around Kagoma Forest Reserve, Tanzania.

Remote sensing and GIS techniques were used to analyze land use and vegetation cover changes over the past 23 years.

Landsat imagery of 1988, 1999 and 2010 were used.Household survey, field observations and focus group discussions were used to obtain socio-economic data and logistic regression model was used for socio-economic drivers analysis.

It was revealed that there has been significant land use and vegetation cover transformation from one class to another with a resultant land degradation.

The vegetation cover is decreasing at the rate of 45.0845 ha (0.27%) per year.

The drivers for the changes include; overgrazing, demand for forest products, shifting cultivation,agricultural expansion, increasing crop prices and lack of land tenure.

Enforcement of different natural resources laws should be implemented.

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