Historical Perspectives of Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Sanga-Lake Mburo former Pastoral Rangeland Ecosystem, Uganda

Socioeconomic, political, and policy decisions by the government may influence the socioecological changes of the land use and land cover pattern for rangeland people over time. This paper examines the historical political, policy, and socioeconomic decisions that influenced land use and land cover changes in the former pastoral community in Sanga-Lake Mburo Rangeland Ecosystem in South Western Uganda. Data on historical events were documented from literature and supplemented by an opportunistic discussion with Sanga residents. Data on land use and cover change detection between 1987 and 2020 were provided by Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS images and from field observations. Images were processed using QGIS version 3.20.1 employing a semi-automatic classification plugin. Political decisions and government policies related to land tenure and reforms, socioeconomics, and demographic changes were noted as underlying drivers of land use and cover changes. The overall accuracies for classified maps of 1987 and 2020 were 80.36% and 89.81%, respectively. Notably, woodland cover in the protected area increased by 170.53% between 1987 and 2020, while built-up areas and farmland increased 1348.15% and 405.03%, respectively. In the same period, wetland cover in protected and unprotected decreased immensely by 46.06%. Bareland in the park decreased by 23%, while outside the park, it increased by 25.07%. This study concludes that land use and land cover change resulted from sociocultural changes, political and policy decisions on ranches, park management, and land tenure restructuring.
Park, Political, Policy, Pastoralists, Vegetation, Sedentarization
Njagil et al., (2022). Historical Perspectives of Land Use and Cover Change in the Sanga-Lake Mburo former Pastoral Rangeland Ecosystem, Uganda. International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics (IJEGEO), 9(2):094-107, doi. 10.30897/ijegeo. 998420