Historical and future land-cover change in a municipality of Ghana

Type Journal Article - Earth Interactions
Title Historical and future land-cover change in a municipality of Ghana
Volume 15
Issue 9
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 1-26
URL http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Morgan_Attua/publication/240686762_Historical_and_Future_Land-Co​ver_Change_in_a_Municipality_of_Ghana/links/552d005a0cf21acb092118d1.pdf
Urban land-cover change is increasing dramatically in most developing nations. In Africa and in the New Juaben municipality of Ghana in particular, political stability and active socioeconomic progress has pushed the urban frontier into the countryside at the expense of the natural ecosystems at ever-increasing rates. Using Landsat satellite imagery from 1985 to 2003, the study found that the urban core expanded by 10% and the peri-urban areas expanded by 25% over the period. Projecting forward to 2015, it is expected that urban infrastructure will constitute 70% of the total land area in the municipality. Giving way to urban expansion were losses in open woodlands (19%), tree fallow (9%), croplands (4%), and grass fallow (3%), with further declines expected for 2015. Major drivers of land-cover changes are attributed to demographic changes and past microeconomic policies, particularly the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP); the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP); and, more recently, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). Pluralistic land administration, complications in the land tenure systems, institutional inefficiencies, and lack of capacity in land administration were also key drivers of land-cover changes in the New Juaben municipality. Policy recommendations are presented to address the associated challenges.

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