Mapping forest transition trends in Okomu reserve using Landsat and UK-DMC-2 satellite data
AbstractThis study aims to assess and quantify forest transition within and around one of the few remaining forest protected landscapes in south west Nigeria, Okomu forest reserve. The study utilised multi-temporal Landsat and UK-DMC-2 satellite images over three epochs (1987, 1999 and 2011) to assess forest landscape change over the study area. The unsupervised Iterative Self Organising Data Analysis technique was used to generate forest maps and subsequently used for forest change detection over two periods (1987 – 1999 and 1999 – 2011). From the results generated we were able to determine the effectiveness level of forest protected status assigned the study area as a means of reducing deforestation from 1987 to 2011. To achieve this objective, trends of forest change within and around the reserve were investigated. These result showed that forest protected status assigned to the reserve has not fully mitigated the effects of deforestation within and around the reserve. The annual deforestation rates of the reserve increased from 3.5% in period 1 (1987 – 1999) to 5.1% in period 2 (1999 – 2011). We suggest that government needs to review forest policies and laws and improve upon the technical capacity of forest managers to improve forest management. Overall, the study has demonstrated the usefulness of using remote sensing and geographic information system to better understand dynamics of forest cover transition in forest protected areas across tropical forests.
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