Land use change analysis and modeling of its future trajectories in Morogoro Region, Tanzania: Implication for conservation

Grace S. Malley, Dan Wanyama, L. J. Gorenflo, Douglas A. Miller

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In Sub-Saharan Africa, where people's livelihoods depend largely on natural resources, understanding land use change dynamics and its implications for the sustainability of social-ecological systems is critical. This study analyzed both historic land use and land cover (LULC) change and trajectories for future change in the Morogoro Region, Tanzania. We mapped LULC in the study area for 1994, 2007 and 2020 using Random Forest in Google Earth Engine and projected future LULC in 2033 using Land Change Modeler. Results revealed that conversion of natural vegetation and wetlands has occurred at a high rate due to cropland expansion and will likely continue over the next decade. Conversion to cropland occurred on the edges of protected areas, in remnant forests and near existing cropland, and was associated with slope, elevation, proximity to settlements and variation in annual precipitation. In landscapes where wildlife shares areas with humans, converting natural vegetation into crop production increases tension and human-wildlife conflicts. Given compounding impacts of a growing human population in Tanzania, and reduced crop yields due to unpredictable rains and prolonged droughts, both human wellbeing and biodiversity conservation require understanding the resulting pressure on land and ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103081
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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