This study aims to identify the driving forces and implications of the temporal and spatial dynamics of land use and land cover in the Kasso catchment, Bale Mountains (Southeastern Ethiopia). Aerial photographs (1965 and 1973) and satellite image (SPOT5 2007) were interpreted and analyzed using GIS tools. Socio-economic surveys, focus group discussions, and field observations were also used to determine the causes and effects of these land use and land cover dynamics. It was found that agriculture and settlement land had increased by 24%, whereas natural forest, woodland, bush land, and grassland declined by 80.74%, 68.08%, 63.02% and 17.65%, respectively. Agricultural expansion and population growth were the two major driving forces behind the land use and land cover dynamics. Environmental and local livelihood implications included forest cover degradation, soil erosion and fertility decline, stream volume and livestock size decline, and scarcity of firewood and construction materials. These in turn contributed to food insecurity, particularly in some low-income households, as well as hindering the sustainable livelihoods of the study area in general. Therefore, we suggest that there is a need to protect the fragile environment, and to adapt and implement sustainable land management practice to promote sustainable livelihood in the area.


change analysis, ecosystem; land management; remote sensing; socio-economic factors

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ISSN: 1223-5334; eISSN: 2284-6379. Published in Romania




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