Land use change has become an important component and driver of global environmental change throughout the Anthropocene. This study was designed to analyse historic/extrapolated trends of land use change in Ngoketunjia Division as well as the principal triggers. Focus was on the spatio-temporal trends and drivers of land use dynamics in the area between 1980 and 2016 and to make forecast of land use situation by 2028 and 2040. The two-stage random sampling technique was used to administer questionnaires to 384 household heads who were predominantly farmers. Some head of services and household were also interviewed. Landsat images of 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016 were mapped out, treated, and analysed using ArcGIS to produce land use maps. Google Earth high resolution images were equally utilised to facilitate interpretation. Microsoft Excel was used for data analysis as well as the SPSS software. Whereas findings for historic trends generally revealed expansion of farmland and settlement and dwindling range and woodlands in the Division, extrapolated trends revealed probable shrinkage of farmland and expansion of range and woodland by 2040. Amongst the proximate drivers of land use dynamics revealed by the study are farmland expansion, settlement expansion, and fuelwood extraction while population pressure, economic factors, technology, and cultural factors emerged as major underlying drivers. The multiple linear regression used to test the hypothesis of the study at 95% confident level revealed that population pressure and economic factors were significantly responsible for 74.8% variance in agricultural land use change. These findings confirmed the hypothesis of the study which states that population pressure and economic factors are significant drivers of agricultural land use change in Ngoketunjia Division. The study recommends sustainable land zonation as a panacea for land use planning for the division in particular and Cameroon in general.
Keywords: Land use change, spatio-temporal trends, drivers, Ngoketunjia, Cameroon