ARSF project ET07/06: Land Use Patterns and Change in Konso, Ethiopia. Led by: Dr. Ian Willis, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Rd, Cambridge CB2 1ER. Location: Konso, Ethiopia.
In the Konso region of Ethiopia local people have integrated agro-forestry, terraces, and other soil and water conservation practices in order to cultivate food over many centuries. Research, primarily in the social sciences, suggests that population and climate pressures are forcing people to migrate from the traditional highland areas to lowland areas where climate and soils are even more marginal for agriculture. There are, however, no data that can be used to quantify the patterns of settlement, natural vegetation, agricultural practices and soil / water conservation measures and their changes through time.
The project's proposed study was to combine environmental and social science methodologies to investigate such patterns and changes. Concentrating on a 10x30km region of Konso, the project sought to obtain airborne LiDAR data, hyperspectral reflectance data and vertical photographs. Ground truthing was used to classify the hyperspectral data, and the combined data sets used to generate digital maps of topography (and derivatives), land use (settlements, trees / shrub species, crop types, terracing, irrigation patterns), soil moisture and erosion. The project also sought to investigate the relationships between these variables. Comparisons with geo-rectified historic air photographs together with the results of semi-structured interviews with local farmers enabled the project to assess the extent of settlement and land use changes over the last few decades and the extent to which they are sustainable.
|Keywords:||land use, changes, hyperspectral|
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