Spatio-temporal analysis of changes in land use-land cover for conservation efficacy of urban forest reserve: the case of Rau Forest Reserve, Tanzania

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East African Journal of Forestry & Agroforestry


Changes in land use and land cover in different places around the globe have a significant impact on ecological structure and functions. Analysis of land use and land cover is useful in management activities, especially forest reserves as it reflects the interaction between adjacent communities and natural resources. We conducted a study to explore the changes in land use and land cover in the Rau Forest reserve to show the management status of this ecosystem which is also located in a nearby urban locality where management activities have been a challenge. The land use and cover (LULC) Spatio-temporal changes in the Rau Forest were classified as Densely Vegetation, Slightly Vegetation, Grassland, Bare land, Built-up, and Waterbodies to evaluate qualitative and quantitative changes in this reserve through the use of GIS techniques and tools over time (1990, 2000 and 2019). Landsat imageries for the year were used to identify the Spatio-temporal changes in vegetation in the area. We found that forest encroachment has driven changes in land use and land cover and transformed parts of the Rau Forest reserve into agricultural area settlements, and grazing lands which has ultimately led to gradual forest degradation. The results demonstrate the urgent need for strong and more severe regulations concerning the protecting the forest and involving local adjacent communities as they provide an extra layer of forest protection for the benefit of present and future generations.


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Rau Forest, Encroachment, Land Use, Land Cover Changes, GIS