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Contextualizing land use and land cover change with local knowledge: a case study from Pokot Central, Kenya
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  • Marcus Nüsser,
  • Maike Petersen,
  • Christoph Bergmann,
  • Paul Roden
Marcus Nüsser
Ruprecht-Karls Universitat Heidelberg Sudasien-Institut
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Maike Petersen
Ruprecht-Karls Universitat Heidelberg Sudasien-Institut
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Christoph Bergmann
Ruprecht-Karls Universitat Heidelberg Sudasien-Institut
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Paul Roden
Kenyatta University
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Abstract

Rural communities in the drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) derive their livelihoods primarily from their natural resource base. Unprecedented changes in these environments over the past few decades are likely to intensify in the future and land users need to develop sustainable adaptation strategies. This study aims to identify land use and land cover (LULC) changes and their drivers in a Sub-Saharan dryland, between 1986 and 2017, by integrating local knowledge and remote sensing analysis. Local knowledge and environmental perception are used as the basis for defining LULC classes and for training and validation of change detection. This study identifies bush encroachment into former pastures as the dominant LULC change with an increase of woodland by 39 % and a decrease of grassland by 74%. This process is perceived as severe degradation by local respondents and is linked to changing management regimes and unreliable rainfall patterns. Deforestation and woodland thinning can be traced back to increased habitation and farming, though the local community also identifies charcoal production as a driving factor. The integration of remote sensing and local knowledge provides a holistic view on LULC change in Pokot Central, Kenya, and offers a solid base for site specific and actor-centred management approaches necessary for sustainable pathways of drylands.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

12 Oct 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
13 Oct 2020Submission Checks Completed
13 Oct 2020Assigned to Editor
16 Nov 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
05 Feb 20211st Revision Received
08 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
08 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
09 Mar 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Accept