Landuse and land cover dynamics in the Volta River Basin surrounding APSD forest plantation, Ghana
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Forest plantation is reckoned to accounts for 7% of total global forest cover and has the potential to provide 75% of the global industrial round wood supply. The study analyzed forest resource use trend, mapped out areas of high biodiversity conservation,and made recommendations to promote and sustain large-scale plantation development against the background of anthropogenic pressure on vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity management. The methodology adopted for the study involved the application of geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing techniques, field survey and community interactions. Major findings of the assessment include substantial land use/land cover conversion from one category to another within the past 20 years as a result of agricultural expansion, urbanisation, charcoal production and wood fuel harvesting; dense woodland and riverine forest experienced decline for the 20-year period whilst agriculture open woodland/grassland and settlement were appreciated; floral diversity was high in the dense woodlands with low regeneration potential because of persistent annual wildfires; significant socio-economic and environmental impacts resulting in the conversion of woodlands and removal of riverine vegetation leading to drying out of streams; charcoal production and shifting cultivation leading to decrease in soil productivity and poor crop yields that promotes poverty amongst the inhabitants.
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