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Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Awash National Park, Ethiopia: Impact of Decentralization on the Use and Management of Resources

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2014.415079    5,537 Downloads   7,312 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We analyzed the magnitude of land use land cover changes and identified drivers of those changes at Awash National Park, Ethiopia, using aerial photographs, satellite images and field observation. Scattered bushland—the most important habitat for the wild animals, declined drastically. Areas under grassland, farmland or open land increased over the study period. Policy and park border demarcation issues were identified as drivers of change before 1995 (before decentralization), whereas livestock grazing was indicated to be the leading driver of change after 1995. Major events and causes that largely explained these changes include immigration of the Ittu community, land tenure system, drought, poaching, use policy issues and regional economic and infrastructural development. Our study reveals that the sustainability of the park calls for an immediate action to reduce the ever increasing human and livestock pressure on park resources.

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Belay, S. , Amsalu, A. and Abebe, E. (2014) Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Awash National Park, Ethiopia: Impact of Decentralization on the Use and Management of Resources. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 950-960. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.415079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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