Historical Changes in CO2 Emissions and Removals from Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Sudan Savannah Ecological Zone of Ghana

Mah Coulibaly, Stephen Adu Bredu, Badabate Diwediga, Souleymane S. Traore, Noëllie A. YAO, Kapoury Sanogo


Assessment of changes in carbon stock from land use and land cover change in necessary for carbon emissions/removals monitoring and enable countries to comply in line with the Good Practice Guidance of IPCC. This study aimed to estimate and map the historical changes in carbon emission and removal from land use and land cover change from 1986 to 2016 in Sudan savannah ecological zone of Ghana. Nested plot design was applied for field measurement, and Random forest algorithm was used to classify images. The zone was stratified into four Districts and each District further stratified into various land use and land cover (LULC) classes. Emission factors were determined for each LULC. Activity data were obtained from the spatial analysis. The overall carbon released from forest degradation and deforestation was found to be 554,684.96 Mg CO2 or 77.19% with 163,956.93 Mg or 31.84% removed. The inter-annual changes exhibited a decrease from 1986 to 1999, 1999 to 2006 and 2006 to 2016 with value being 642,342.79, 545,125.53 and 445,142.17 Mg CO2, respectively. More CO2 was released from forest degradation and in the area where cropland and forest have been converted to shrub/grassland; whereas carbon was removed in the area where shrub/grassland has been converted to cropland and/or forest land. However, more carbon was recorded in cropland compared to forest and shrub/grassland, which explains the difference in emission factor from carbon. Based on this finding reforestation and REDD+ implementation will be an efficient strategy for sustainable development in the Sudan Savannah ecological zone. In addition, farmers should be encouraged to maintain more trees on their farms to compensate for the forest loss.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jee.v11i2.17239

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