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Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 70  |  2848 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN5,000






1.1 Background of the Study

Human beings, since the earliest stage of settlement, are dependent on land for their food production and various sorts of economic development which have been constantly modifying the global landscape. The relentless pressure to meet the needs of burgeoning population and demand driven development activities have amplified the stress on earth's land (Foley et al., 2011; Weinzettel et al., 2013). In this context, anthropogenic activity and its concomitant land use and land cover (LULC) changes have become an inevitable issue for the present time and accentuating the risks of environmental degradation around the globe (Paiboonvorachat, 2008; Stabile, 2012). Over half of the world's landscape is influenced by hum an activities or under some sort of anthropogenic development and since the historic past, many natural resources have been heavily used or even depleted in the worst cases (Foley, et al., 2005, Goldewijk, et al., 2011). The impacts of this widespread LULC change on the natural environment are multi-faceted, including climate change, alteration of hydrological cycle, increased water extraction, impairment of water quality, degradation of soil nutrients, amplified surface erosion, and loss of biodiversity (Turner, et al., 2007, Paiboonvorachat, 2008). Therefore, information on land use and land cover, changing trends and optimal use of the land resources have become predestined criteria for land use planning and effective natural resources management of an area. Watersheds in the north-eastern part of British Columbia (BC), Canada have been experiencing widespread LULC changes over the past few years due to the convergence of various industrial interests, for example, logging, mining, oil and gas development, large scale hydro development etc. (Lee & Hanneman, 2012). Among the north-eastern BC's watersheds, Kiskatinaw River watershed (KRW) which is the study area of this research, features a significant portion of industrial development activities and associated LULC changes. Being the only source of drinking water supply to the City of the Dawson Creek (DC) and neighbouring village of Pouce Coupe, KRW plays a dominant role in north-eastern BC's life and environment (Saha, et al., 2013), but unfortunately, information on LULC changes within the watershed is scanty. Therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the LULC system within the watershed to assess its impact on the overall watershed dynamics. Researchers around the globe have long been enjoying the effectiveness of remote sensing (RS) technology for extracting current and previous land use and land cover (LULC) information and for providing robust inventory of LULC changes (Ridd and Liu, 1998; Mas, 1999; Paul et al., 2012; Chen et al., 2013). Recent dvancement of RS tools and combination of Geographic Information System (GIS) with RS makes this technique more successful and introduces a wider scope of research including LULC change detection, LULC modeling and prediction (Araya, 2009, Paul et al., 2012).



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