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.

[1]   Xu, D. and Wang, Z. (2019) Identifying Land Restoration Regions and Their Driving Mechanisms in Inner Mongolia, China from 1981 to 2010. Journal of Arid Environments, 167, 79-86.

[2]   Zhao, A., Zhang, Z., Feng, L., Zhao, Y., Li, Q. and Jia, Z. (2018) Spatiotemporal Change of Aeolian Desertification Land Distribution in Northern China from 2001 to 2015. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 46, 1555-1561.

[3]   United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (2010) Launching the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification. UNCCD News.

[4]   Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

[5]   Ladisa, G., Todorovic, M. and Liuzzi, G.T. (2015) A GIS-Based Approach for Desertification Risk Assessment in Apulia Region, SE Italy. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 49, 103-113.

[6]   Vicente-Serrano, S.M., Cabello, D., Tomás-Burguera, M., Martín-Hernández, N., Beguería, S., Azorin-Molina, C. and Kenawy, A.E. (2015) Drought Variability and Land Degradation in Semiarid Regions: Assessment Using Remote Sensing Data and Drought Indices (1982-2011). Remote Sensing, 7, 4391-4423.

[7]   Li, S.S., Yang, S.N., Liu, X.F., Liu, Y.X. and Shi, M.M. (2015) NDVI-Based Analysis on the Influence of Climate Change and Human Activities on Vegetation Restoration in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Region, Central China. Remote Sensing, 7, 11163-11182.

[8]   Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2014) Summary for Policymakers. In: Edenhofer, O., Pichs-Madruga, R., Sokona, Y., Farahani, E., Kadner, S., Seyboth, K., Adler, A., Baum, I., Brunner, S., Eickemeier, P., Kriemann, B., Savolainen, J., Schlömer, S., von Stechow, C., Zwickel, T. and Minx, J.C., Eds., Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 31 p.

[9]   Dixon, A.P., Faber-Langendoen, D., Josse, C., Morrison, J. and Loucks, C.J. (2014) Distribution Mapping of World Grassland Types. Journal of Biogeography, 41, 2003-2019.

[10]   White, R.P., Murray, S. and Rohweder, M. (2000) Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Grassland Ecosystems. World Resources Institute, Washington DC, 81 p.

[11]   Ekpoh, I.J. and Nsa, E. (2011) Extreme Climatic Variability in North-Western Nigeria: An Analysis of Rainfall Trends and Patterns. Journal of Geography and Geology, 3, 51-62.

[12]   Farauta, B.K., Egbule, C.L., Idrisa, Y.L. and Agu, V.C. (2011) Climate Change and Adaptation Measures in Northern Nigeria: Empirical Situation and Policy Implications. African Technology Policy Studies Network, 31 p.

[13]   Abdullahi, S.A., Muhammad, M.M., Adeogun, B.K. and Mohammed, I.U. (2014) Assessment of Water Availability in the Sokoto Rima River Basin. Resources and Environment, 4, 220-233.

[14]   Abaje, I.B., Sawa, B.A., Iguisi, E.O. and Ibrahim, A.A. (2015) A Quantitative Approach to Vulnerability Assessment of Rural Communities to Climate Change in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Nigerian Geographical Journal, 10, 180-195.

[15]   Atedhor, G.O. (2015) Agricultural Vulnerability to Climate Change in Sokoto State, Nigeria. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 15, 9855-9871.

[16]   Adeniyi, P.O. and Omojola, A. (1999) Land Use/Land Cover Change Evaluation in Sokoto Rima Basin of N.W. Nigeria Based on Archival Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques. In: Adeniyi, Ed., Geoin-formation Technology Applications for Resources and Environmental Management in Africa, AARSE, Wura-Kay Press, Lagos, 143-172.

[17]   Shitangsu, K.P. (2013) Vulnerability Concepts and Its Application in Various Fields: A Review on Geographical Perspective. Journal of Life and Earth Science, 8, 63-81.

[18]   Thomas, K., Hardy, R.D., Lazrus, H., Mendez, M., Rivera-Collazo, I., Roberts, J.T., Rockman, M., Warner, B.P. and Winthrop, R. (2019) Explaining Differential Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Social Science Review. WIREs Climate Change, 10, 1-18.

[19]   Dolan, A.H. and Walker, I.J. (2003) Understanding Vulnerability of Coastal Communities to Climate Change Related Risks. Proceedings of the 8th International Coastal Symposium, Vol. 3, 1316-1323.

[20]   Fellmann, T. (2012) The Assessment of Climate Change-Related Vulnerability in the Agricultural Sector: Reviewing Conceptual Frameworks. In: Maybeck, A., Lankoski, J., Redfern, S., Azzu, N. and Gitz, V., Eds., Building Resilience for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector, Proceedings of a Joint FAO/OECD Workshop, FAO, Roma, 37-61.

[21]   Sarewitz, D., Pielke, R. and Keykhah, M. (2003) Vulnerability and Risk: Some Thoughts from a Political and Policy Perspective. Risk Analysis, 23, 805-810.

[22]   Cutter, S.L., et al. (2008) A Place-Based Model for Understanding Community Resilience to Natural Disasters. Global Environmental Change, 18, 598-606.

[23]   Adger, W.N. (2006) Vulnerability. Global Environmental Change, 16, 268-281.

[24]   AbdulKadir, A., Abdullahi, J., Christie, I.Y., Mohammed, M., Liman, H.M. and Hassan, A.B. (2015) Climate Change and Vulnerability of the Riverine Communities in Niger State, Nigeria. Nigeria Geographic Journal, 10, 14-23.

[25]   Yelwa, S.A. and Eniolorunda, N.B. (2012) Simulating the Movement of Desertification in Sokoto and Its Environs, Nigeria Using 1 km SPOT NDVI Data. Environmental Research Journal, 6, 175-181.

[26]   Abubakar, M.J., Mokhtar, J. and Lam, K.C. (2018) Monitoring the Health of Dryland Ecosystem across North-Western Nigeria Using Multi-Temporal MODIS-NDVI Remote Sensing Data. FUDMA Journal of Sciences, 2, 262-272.

[27]   Hamidu, H., Garba, M.L., Abubakar, Y.I., Muhammad, U. and Mohammed, D. (2016) Groundwater Resource Appraisals of Bodinga and Environs, Sokoto Basin North Western Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Science, 24, 92-101.

[28]   Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (2014) The Project for Review and Update of Nigeria National Water Resources Master Plan: Volume 5 Supporting Report. Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Abuja.

[29]   Di Gregorio, A., Henry, M., Donegan, E., Finegold, Y., Latham, J., Jonckheere, I. and Cumani, R. (2016) Land Cover Classification System: Classification Concepts Software Version (3). Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome, 40 p.

[30]   Foley, J.A., et al. (2011) Solutions for a Cultivated Planet. Nature, 478, 337-342.

[31]   de Smith, M.J., Goodchild, M.F., Longley, P.A., et al. (2018) Geospatial Analysis—A Comprehensive Guide to Principles, Techniques and Software Tools. 6th Edition, The Winchelsea Press, Edinburgh, 608 p.

[32]   Ren, X., Dong, Z., Hu, G., Zhang, D. and Li, Q. (2016) A GIS-Based Assessment of Vulnerability to Aeolian Desertification in the Source Areas of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. Remote Sensing, 8, 626.

[33]   Linstone, H.A. and Turoff, M. (1975) The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications. Addison-Wesley, London.

[34]   Saaty, T.L. (1977) A Scaling Method for Priorities in Hierarchical Structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 15, 234-281.

[35]   Ye, J. (2010) Multicriteria Fuzzy Decision-Making Method Using Entropy Weights-Based Correlation Coefficients of Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy Sets. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 34, 3864-3870.

[36]   Pham, D.L. (2001) Spatial Models for Fuzzy Clustering. Computer Vision and Image Understanding, 84, 285-297.

[37]   Ramanathan, R.A. (2001) Note on the Use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Environmental Impact Assessment. Journal of Environmental Management, 63, 27-35.

[38]   Hou, K., Li, X., Wang, J. and Zhang, J. (2016) Evaluating Ecological Vulnerability Using the GIS and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) Method in Yan’an, China. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 25, 599-605.

[39]   AbdulKadir, A., Usman, M.T. and Shaba, A.H. (2015) An Integrated Approach to Delineation of the Ecoclimatic Zones in Northern Nigeria. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment, 7, 247-255.

[40]   Keesstra, S.D., Bouma, J., Wallinga, J., Tittonell, P., Smith, P., Cerdà, A., Montanarella, L., Quinton, J.N., Pachepsky, Y., van der Putten, W.H., Bardgett, R.D., Moolenaar, S., Mol, G., Jansen, B. and Fresco, L.O. (2016) The Significance of Soils and Soil Science towards Realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Soil, 2, 111-128.