Transhumance as a driving force of landscape change in the marginal grabens of northern Ethiopia

Zbelo Tesfamariam Welemaram*, Jan Nyssen, Tesfaalem Ghebreyohannes, Kelemework Tafere, Amanuel Zenebe, Jean Poesen, Seppe Deckers, Veerle Van Eetvelde

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Transhumance between the Afar lowlands and Tigray escarpments has been a common practice in northern Ethiopia. However, the impact of transhumance on landscape changes in the marginal grabens has not been significantly researched. Hence, this study aims to understand the process of transhumance and the linkages between social and biophysical aspects of the graben landscapes of northern Ethiopia. Google Earth (2010-2016) and Landsat Imageries (1995-2015) were used to analyse the spatio-temporal landscape changes. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was applied to measure the change in vegetation cover. Interview and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect perceptions of communities on transhumance and landscape change. The findings reveal that transhumance caused conflicts between the lowlanders and highlanders, which in turn led to displacement of communities. Consequently, the NDVI value of the abandoned settlement increased over time. Conversely, the analysis of Google Earth Imageries and NDVI values show that vegetation cover of the new settlement has decreased. Moreover, the NDVI values of the transhumance areas showed little increase due to the establishments of exclosures in the escarpments. The findings of this study can, therefore, be used to develop targeted interventions aimed at solving transhumance-induced conflicts, displacement of communities and conservation of natural resources.
TidsskriftSingapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)476-495
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa

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