Land cover change detection around Arabuko Sokoke forest

Alina Schürmann from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), together with Timothy xx, conducted her master thesis on land-cover changes around Arabuko Sokoke forest. High demographic pressure caused a rapid shift of land tenure systems. Thus, land management and agricultural techniques changed considerably. In this study, Alina used Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing techniques to quantify land-cover changes, and potential negative effects on life quality. Analyses of land-cover changes were quantified based on historical aerial photographs of the year 1954 and current, which were compared with current and detailed satellite images (provided by ESA TPM, based on a successful application submitted by Mike Teucher). First results show that there is a significant reduction in sizes of land parcels and an increase in the proportion of agricultural fields across landscapes. Furthermore, interviews with farmers in the field identified potential drivers leading to these land-cover changes, and a today rather unsustainable land management.