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 JEP  Vol.10 No.10 , October 2019
GIS-Based Vulnerability Assessment of the Semi-Arid Ecosystem to Land Degradation: Case Study of Sokoto-Rima Basin
Abstract: Land degradation is one of the most ubiquitous environmental challenges affecting the semi-arid ecosystems of the world and the Sokoto-Rima basin is not immune to this. In this study, we evaluated vulnerability of the Sokoto-Rima basin to land degradation by combining remote sensing and geographic information system technologies. An appraisal model was developed for the identified nine variables, whose weights were ascertained by the analytical hierarchy process. Using this model, we examined the spatiotemporal distribution of vulnerability to land degradation stimulated by climate change from 2002 to 2015. Largely, the basin is extremely vulnerable to land degradation with roughly 88% of the land area in 2002, 2012 and 2015 while areas with low vulnerability were just 1.52%, 1.48% and 1.51% respectively. Geographically, there exists a north-south vulnerability index dichotomy as the index increases northwards. Also, integrated vulnerability index showed that the entire basin is getting exposed to the vagaries of climate change that stimulates land degradation. Large-scale resilience projects such as greening and integrated shelter-belts and woodlots can be implemented in the long run as existing ones are inadequate to address the observed degradation.
Cite this paper: Raji, S. , Odunuga, S. and Fasona, M. (2019) GIS-Based Vulnerability Assessment of the Semi-Arid Ecosystem to Land Degradation: Case Study of Sokoto-Rima Basin. Journal of Environmental Protection, 10, 1224-1243. doi: 10.4236/jep.2019.1010073.
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