Mapping the land cover changes in the Mabira forest using satelite imagery.
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Mabira Forest is the largest gazzetted forest in Central Uganda. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Mabira Forest due to deforestation. In light of this, several campaigns and efforts have been made by various agencies to reclaim the forest. Remote Sensing techniques have been used to monitor the change in land use/landcover, so as to clearly show the changes that have taken place over the years. For this project, satellite imagery from four epochs i.e. 2001,2010 and 2019 were classified using supervised classification. Four distinct classes were identified in the Satellite images. These classes were ‘forest cover’, ‘cleared forest’, ‘housing’ and ‘bare land’. Analysis involved the comparison of the area of coverage from the images and hence deducing the changes that occurred. The results of change detection analysis were used to display the changes that occurred between the compared images. In 2002, forest cover accounted for 55.8% of the land cover, cleared forest accounted for 18.2%, housing covered 11.7% of the total area while the road covered 4.2%. 2009 saw a 17.6% reduction of forest with coverage of 48.2%. Cleared forest covered 29.5%, housing 18.0% and road coverage remained a constant 4.2%. The year 2013 saw a difference in land use and landcover where forest cover accounted for 51.7%, cleared forest 25.3%, housing 18.5% and road 4.4%. Once the trend in land use and landcover for the years 2002, 2009 and 2013 had been determined, Sleuth, a land change model, was used to predict possible future occurrences. Forest cover is predicted to cover 54.7%, cleared forest 17.3%, housing 30.6% and road 4.3%. At the end of the project, informed conclusions and recommendations were made.