Spatio-temporal land use/cover dynamics and its implication for sustainable land use in Wanka watershed, northwestern highlands of Ethiopia

Wondwosen Abera (Lead Author), Mohammed Assen, Poshendra Satyal

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Long-term land use and land cover (LULC) dynamics information is essential to understand the trends and make necessary land management interventions, such as in the highlands of Ethiopia. This study analyzed six decades of LULC dynamics of Wanka watershed, Northwestern Ethiopian highlands. Two sets of aerial photographs (1957 and 2017), SPOT 5 and sentinel satellite imageries were analyzed. In addition, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and field observations were used to identify the drivers and impact of LULC change. It was found that cultivated and rural settlement land (CRSL), bare land, and urban built up area have been continuously expanded at the expenses of mainly forest and shrub lands. Over the entire study period (1957–2017) while the bare land and CRSL have increased by about 59% and 20% respectively, forest and shrub lands have declined by 59% and 57% respectively. Urban built up area has also expanded. The impact of popula- tion pressure and expansion of CRSL land were considerable. The trend of LULC dynamics in the study watershed implies adverse impact on the quality and quantity of the land resource. Hence, appropriate land use planning and strategies that reduce expansion of cultivated land need to be practiced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571–581
Number of pages11
JournalModeling Earth Systems and Environment
Issue number2
Early online date16 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Sustainable land use
  • Cultivated land
  • Trends
  • Land use
  • Land cover

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