International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research Vol.1(7), pp.180-I87,September 2013
© 2013 Journal Issues
Article /13/ID JPR59, 08 pages
Original Research Paper
Assessing forest cover change in the Bafut-Ngemba Forest Reserve (BNFR), north west region of Cameroon using remote sensing and GIS
Accepted 29 August , 2013
National Institute of Cartography,P.O. Box 157, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to understand and control deforestation in forest reserves, alternative tools for effective management are indispensable. Accordingly, this study employed Landsat MSS, 1978 and ASTER images for 2006 and fieldwork to assess the change in forest cover in the Bafut-Ngemba Forest Reserve (BNFR) in north western Cameroon. Images were classified using MultiSpec Version 5.01. Four cover classes were identified. Classified images were transferred to ArcGIS 9.3 and various classes were digitized on screen, statistics were registered on the attribute table and eventually used in calculating the area of each class.The results illustrated a reduction in forest cover of -37% for the 28 years period with average annual decrease rate of 1.3%. During, the same period, farmland and shrub/grassland increased by 1% and 0.3% respectively. Drivers of the change were, the neighboring populations involved in farming (40%); fuel wood dealers (17.5%); charcoal burners (12.5%); the Fulani with their livestock rearing (2.5%) and equally illegal timber dealers (7.5%).This study highlighted the challenges of forest management in the BNFR and the urgency for an effective management system to be implemented if Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is to be attained at the country level. The use of remote sensing and GIS, with appropriate field work proved to be effective in this respect.
Key words: Forest cover change, Bafut Ngemba Forest Reserve, remote sensing, GIS