Understanding the Impact of Land Cover Dynamics on Sustainable Livelihood Strategies of Local People in Menagesha Suba

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Addis Ababa University


[-hllnan actions through selliement expansion, searching of crop land and other development activities are altering the ecosystem of the land at unprecedented rates (Walker, 2001). These interactions of Inllnan being with the natural environment have been the core causes for loss offorest and land resources in the form land use/ land cover changes since civilizations in the river valley. The current issue is that rapid population growthfuelled with the needfor expansion of agricultural land; expansion of human selliement and the leaningfor development activities al/ together are aggravating the land covers changes processes and switching the livelihood strategies of local people. The land cover changes, which are followed by multiple of processes, have both positive and negative impacts on the socio-economic; livelihood strategies of local people; and local environmental conditions. This research focuses on the impact of land use and land cover changes on the socio-economic conditions and the general environment of the local inhabitants in Menagesha Suba. This research met the multiple aims of analyzing the land cover changes; exploring the drivers of the changes and evaluating the impacts of the changes. In doing so the research employs analysis of satellite images for the years 1973, 1986 and 2007 in Menagesh Suba; key informant interviews and socio-economic survey of the livelihood strategies of the local people in the area. This research produced a number key finding which includes a decrease in the size of the forest cover by 36.61% and the grazing/open land cover by 1.99%; and an increase in agricultural land by 54.47% and the human selliement by -0.91% Fom 1973 to 2007. These increase and decrease in the size of the land was aggravated by a number of socio-economic and socio-cultural factors both at the local and national level. This change again impacted the local people in terms of their socio-economic condition and in terms their livelihood strategies. The main conclusion drawn Fom this research was land cover changes in A1enagesha Suba have impacted the local people in many ways but particularly in their livelihood strategies. This research argued for proper land use planning which can be used to reduce the land cover changes in the research area. f(ey Words: Land Use/Land Cover Changes, Proximate and Underlying Callses; Livelihood Impacts of LULCC



Land Use/Land Cover Changes,, Proximate and Underlying Callses, Livelihood Impacts of LULCC