Ecological Change Detection in Northeastern Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon, Based on Spatio-temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (1979-2020)

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  •   Josephine A. Maghah

  •   Cornelius M. Lambi

  •   Titus F. Ambebe

Abstract

Mountains are amongst the landforms that have undergone the most transformation. Landscape changes in mountains are driven by anthropogenic stressors and climatic change. The UN Sustainable development Goal 15 recognized the importance of conservation of mountain ecosystems for an enhancement of sustainable development. This study seeks to evaluate spatio-temporal ecological changes in the Northeastern Bamenda Highlands, based on a remote sensing-derived mountain green cover index proxy, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The study showed vegetation greening and browning trends exemplified by degraded montane forest linked to anthropogenic stressors and natural climatic shift. These anthropogenic stressors include deforestation, conversion of forest to farmlands and eucalyptus plantations, and the unsustainable grazing with inter-annual use of fires for pasture regeneration. As a means to ensure future ecological services provision of these highlands, landscape restoration strategies are needed. The greening of the highlands with water retaining trees species, sustainable grazing and farming restrictions in protected areas and its buffers.


Keywords: Change detection, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Mountain Green Cover Index, Forest loss, Ecological transformation, Urbanization

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How to Cite
Maghah, J. A., Lambi, C. M., & Ambebe, T. F. (2021). Ecological Change Detection in Northeastern Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon, Based on Spatio-temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (1979-2020). European Journal of Environment and Earth Sciences, 2(4), 5-10. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejgeo.2021.2.4.144