A SYSTEMATIC ASSESSMENT OF PLANTATION EXPANSION IN OKOMU FOREST RESERVE, EDO STATE, SOUTHERN NIGERIA
Authors: Enaruvbe G.O.
Agriculture is the mainstay and a major source of foreign exchange earning for many tropical countries. Studies have examined the pattern and consequences of agricultural plantation on tropical rainforest ecosystems. However, systematic assessment of the processes that result in the observed pattern of land use is limited. This study examined the pattern and processes of oil palm and rubber plantations expansion in Okomu forest reserve, Edo State, Nigeria. Segmented Landsat images of 1987 and 2015 were classified using support vector machine algorithm into three categories: plantation, forest and others, cross tabulated and analysed using intensity analysis approach. The results show that plantation increased by 12%, others 14% and forest loss 15% during the period of this study. Forest loss was primarily caused by plantation expansion prior to the creation of Okomu National Park. Plantation’s gain targets others while others’ gain also targets plantation. Both gains however avoid forest while forest’s gain targets plantation but avoids others. However, plantation expansion increases the pressure on the rainforest and depletes natural habitat. The integration of environmental protection and conservation policies into economic and land use planning, administration and governance is recommended.
Affiliations: Department of Geographical Information Science, African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (Formerly RECTAS), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Keywords: Tropical Rainforest, Okomu Oil Palm Plantation, Agriculture, Remote Sensing And GIS, Nigeria
Published date: 2018/06/30