Land Use/Cover Change at Infraz Watershed, Northwestren Ethiopia

Open access


Land cover is the physical and biological cover of the surface whereas land use covers the results of human activities for the exploitation of it. The land cover and landuse change is caused by both, natural and anthropogenic factors. The objective of this study was to detect land cover/use changes in Infraz Watershed. The study has used ArcGIS10 and ERDAS IMAGINE10, landsat images of 1973, 1986, 1995 and 2011 and socio-economic data to analyze land cover and landuse changes of Infraz watershed. The study has found that due to the population increase and improper agricultural activity bush and wetlands have declined where as farm and settlement lands expanded between the study years. About 1044 wetlands and 6338.7 ha of bush lands were lost and converted to cultivated and farm lands, grass lands and forest covers which were increased by 6685.3, 357.7 and 338.3 ha between the study periods respectively. There is an urgent need to limit the population growth rate and implementing land use policy in the Infraz watershed.

Amare, S. & Kameswara, R. (2011). Hydrological Dynamics and Human Impact on Ecosystems of Lake Tana, Northwestern Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 4:56-74. doi: 10.4314/ejesm.v4i1.7.

Amare, S. & Kameswara, R. (2012). Impacts of land cover/use dynamics of Gilgel Abbay catchment of Lake Tana on climate variability, Northwestern Ethiopia, Journal Applied Geomaticvs. 4:155-163. DOI 10.1007/s12518-012-0092-2.

Amare, S. (2013). Retrospective Analysis of Land Cover and Use Dynamics in Gilgel Abbay Watershed by Using GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques, Northwestern Ethiopia, International Journal of Geosciences, 4 (7): 1003-1008. Retrieved August 6, 2014, from

Amare, S. (2013). Population and Environment Interaction: The Case of Gilgel Abbay Catchment, Northwestern Ethiopia. E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management, 4(1):153-162. Retrieved August 6, 2014, from

Berhanu, N, Adenew, B. and Gebre Selassie (2002). Current Land Policy Issues in Ethiopia. In Land Reform: Land Settlements and Cooperatives 2003/3. Special Edition.

Birru, Y. (2007) Land Degradation and Options for Sustainable Land Management in the Lake Tana Basin (LTB), Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Centre for Development and Environment.

Chilar, J. (2000). Land Cover Mapping of Large Areas from Satellites: Status and Research priorities. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 21(67): 1093-1114.

Christy, J. R., W. B. Norris, K. Redmond and K. P. Gallo (2006). Methodology and Results of Land-Use Change on Climate. Nature, 427: 213-214. Retrieved August 6, 2014, from:

Congalton, R. (1991). A review of assessing the accuracy of classifications of remotely sensed Data. International Journal of remote sensing.

CSA (1984). The Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia; Results at a Country Level. Office of population and housing census commission/ central statistical authority/ Addis Ababa.

CSA (1994). The Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia; Results at a Country Level. Office of population and housing census commission /central statistical authority/ Addis Ababa.

CSA (2007). Summary Statistical Draft Report of National Population Statistics. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ezber, Y., O. L. Sen, T. Kindap and M. Karaca (2007). Climatic Effects of Urbanization in Istanbul: A Statistical and Modeling Analysis. International Journal of Climatology, 27:667-679.

Foley, J. A., R. DeFries and G. P. Asner (2005). Global Consequences of Land Use. Science 309: 570-574.

Geist,H.,J. & E. F. Lambdin (2001). What Drives Tropical Deforestation? A Meta-Analysis of Proximate and Underlying Causes of Deforestation Based on Sub National Case Study Evidence, LUCC International Project Office, LouvainlaNeuve.

Kazmin, V. (1973). Geological map of Ethiopia (1:2000000). Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys. Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Lambin, E.F., Geist, H. J.and E. Lepers (2003). Dynamics of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Tropical Regions. Annual Reviews Environmen Resource 28:205-241.

Luca, M. (2013). Change Detection in Landuse/Landcover Using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques: A Case Study of Mahananda Catchment, West Benga International Journal of Research in Management Studies: 2(2).

Markandya, A. (2001). Poverty, Environment and Development. In: Folmer, H., Gabel, (Eds). Frontiers of Environmental Economics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Mas, J.F. (1999). Monitoring Land-Cover Changes: A Comparison of Change Detection Techniques, International Journal of Remote Sensing 20 (1) 139-152

Mather, S. & C. L. Needle (2000). “The Relationships of Population and Forest Trends,” The Geographical Journal, 166: 2-13.

McGranahan, G., P. J. Marcotullio, X. Bai, D. Balk and T. Brag (2005). Urban Systems, In: R. Hassan, R. Scholes and N. Ash, (Eds), Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends, Island Press, Washington, DC: 795-824.

Mesfin, W/M. (1972). An Introductory Geography of Ethiopia. Berhanena Selam H.S.I. Printing Press, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

Meyer,W.,B & B. L. Turner (1995). Human Population Growth and Global Land-Use Cover Change, Annual Review of Ecological Systems, 23: 39-61.

Morse, C. C., A. D. Huryn, and C. Cronan. (2003). Impervious Surface Area as A Predictor of The Effects of Urbanization on Stream Insect Communities in Maine, U.S.A. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 89:95-127.

Mueller, D. & M. Zeller (2002). Land-Use Dynamics in the Central Highlands of Vietnam: A Spatial Model Combining Village Survey Data with Satellite Imagery Interpretation Agricultural. Economics. 27:333-354.

Nurelegn, M. & Amare, S. (2014). Land Use/Cover Dynamics in Ribb Watershed, North Western, Ethiopia, Journal of Natural Sciences.4 (16).

Nuñez, M. N & H. Ciapessoni (2008). Impact of Land Use and Precipitation Changes on Surface Temperature Trends in Argentina. Journal of Climates. Science, 310, 1674-1678.

Nyassen, J & J. Poesen (2004). Human Impact on the Environment in the Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands a State of the Art. Earth Science Reviews.

Overmars, K. P., & Verburg, P.H. (2005) Analysis of Land Use Drivers at the Watershed and Household Level: Linking Two Paradigms at the Philippine Forest Fringe. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 19 (2), 125-152.

Ramankutty, N., J. A. Foley, J. Norman and K. McSweeney (2002). The Global Distribution of Cultivable Lands: Current Patterns and Sensitivity to Possible Climate Change, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 11:377-392.

Rompaey, V., A., Krasa, J., Dostal, T. (2007). Modeling The Impact of Land Cover Changes in the Czech Republic on Sediment Delivery. Land Use Policy, 24 (3), 576-583.

Sanderson, EW, Redford KH, Vedder A, Coppolillo PB and S-E. Ward (2002). A Conceptual Model for Conservation Planning Based on Landscape Species Requirements. Landscape and Urban Planning 58: 41-56.

Scherr, S. (2000). A Downward Spiral? Research Evidence on the Relationship between Poverty and Natural Resource Degradation. Food Policy 25: 479-498.

Shiferaw, B. & Holden, S. T. (2001). Farm Level Benefits to Investments for Mitigating Land Degradation: Empirical Evidence from Ethiopia. Environment and Development Economics 6: 335-358.

Singh, P. (1996). Land Degradation a Global Menace and Its Improvement through Agroforestry. In: Signh, (eds.) Agroforestry Systems for Sustainable Land Use. Science publishers, Inc. USA. Pp. 4-20.

SMEC (2007). Hydrological Study of the Tana and Beles Sub Basin-Inception Report.SEMC International pty Ltd, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Sonneveld, K. (2003). Food Production and Environmental Degradation: Tradeoffs from an Economic Perspective. World Bank, Washington DC.

Verheye, W. H. (2004). Land Use, Land Cover and Soil Sciences, in Land Use, Land Cover and Soil Sciences, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from

Journal of Landscape Ecology

The Journal of Czech National Chapter of the Association for Landscape Ecology (CZ-IALE)

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.68

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.245
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.560

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 211 211 26
PDF Downloads 125 125 34