Man through anthropogenic activities has modified the environment for thousands of years leading to land use and environmental changes. Natural resources in Mbankomo Sub division in the central region of Cameroon have been undergoing changes due to anthropogenic activities such as logging and urbanisation. As the negative aspects of natural resource change draw public attention and sustainable development becomes a goal in many communities, the continuing natural resources change associated with accelerated population growth becomes a critical issue. The need to have land use and vegetation cover information to assist sustainable management of natural resources at a regional scale is necessary. The study investigated land use pattern and vegetation cover change (gain and loss) in Mbankomo sub Division for three ten-year intervals, 1986–1996, 1996–2006 and 2006–2016 using remote sensing and GIS-based methodologies for analysis and modelling. Six categories of land use pattern were identified that is forest, savannah, settlement, bare soil/cultivated lands, swamps/rivers and roads. Supervised classifications were performed on the Landsat images. With analysis of land cover change and change detection between. the results revealed that during the 30 year period 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016 images, results revealed that forest coverage declined by 21128.4 ha (44.23%) while savannah increased by 931.8 ha (1.95%). Bare soil/cultivated lands increased by 13672.5 ha (28.62%), settlement by 6475.5 ha (13.55%) and river/swamps declined by 2.2 ha (0.01%). The study concludes that there have been significant changes in land use pattern and vegetation cover in Mbankomo sub Division and requires interceptive action to reverse the changes for sustainable development, enforcement of laws and regulations related to natural resource use.
Keywords: F, remote sensing, GIS, Vegetation change, Cameroon