Land-Use/Land-Cover Change and Anthropogenic Causes Around Koupa Matapit Gallery Forest, West-Cameroon

Marie Caroline Solefack Momo, Andre Ledoux Njouonkou, Lucie Felicite Temgoua, Romuald Djouda Zangmene, Junior Baudoin Wouokoue Taffo, Mama Ntoupka


This study assesses land cover change of the Koupa Matapit forest gallery, West Cameroon, in relation to anthropogenic factors. Ethnobotanical surveys were conducted to investigate the relationships between the local population and the gallery forest; the spatio-temporal dynamics of the landscapes around the gallery forest were studied from the diachronic analysis of three Landsat TM satellite images of 1984, Landsat ETM + 1999 and Landsat OLI_TIRS of 2016, supplemented by verification missions on field. The satellite images were processed using ArcGIS and Erdas Imagine software. According to surveys, it should be noted that agriculture and livestock are the main economic activities of the population of Koupa Matapit, agriculture and fuel wood collection for energy were the main anthropogenic activities responsible for deforestation and degradation of the forest gallery. The collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) would have a significant implication in land use and cover changes. The results indicate that the extension of savannah/agricultural land (from 6989 ha in 1984 to 7604 ha in 2016) and bare soil/built up area (from 71 ha in 1984 to 342 ha in 2016) would have led to the disappearance of much of the forest area (1465 ha in 1984 to 580 ha in 2016). The rapid population growth of Koupa Matapit would be responsible for these pressures. There is an urgent need to implement appropriate land use policy in this area.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Marie Caroline Solefack Momo

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)  Email:

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