Recently, forest land grant for investment which is often misquoted as bare land is posing a challenge to biodiversity conservation efforts in the Majang Zone of Gambella Region, Ethiopia. On the other hand, Majang zone has always been known for dense forest cover and rich biodiversity; but recently threatened due to plantation investment. In order to tackle such prevailing problems, timely information about past and existing land- use/cover scenarios is needed. This study therefore aim to drive reliable information about land-use/cover trends for the last 30 years using Remote Sensing techniques. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) for year 1987 and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) for year 2016 were used for image classification. By applying all the approaches and algorithms recommended for image classification, six major land-use/cover classes were identified. The landscape ever covered with dense forest was dramatically updated to new land-use/cover. The 1987 land-use/cover map put forest as the major land cover accounted for 86.73%. However, findings from recent satellite image uncovered new land-use/cover class-plantation accounted for16.16 % that comes out of almost none existent land use pattern in 1987. The result also showed that agricultural land and settlement expanded at alarming rate (3.4 and 0.13 hectare) per year respectively but, the forest cover is the most altered part decreasing by 0.32 hectare per year. Thus, it is important to take urgent action against further conversion of forest to other land cover class, which might have negative impacts in advance on the remaining natural forest.
Key words: Remote Sensing technique, Landsat image, Land-use/cover change.
Copyright © 2018 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0