Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Wetlands in Bamenda, Cameroon: Implications for Urban and Peri-urban Wetland Policy
Keywords:Bamenda City Council, wetland city, Ramsar Convention, accreditation, LULC
Wetlands are indispensable within the human settlement agenda. Recognising their evolution is vital for critical understanding and management of existing wetlands. Yet, the spatiotemporal variation of wetlands is less comprehensively understood between urban and peri-urban areas of developing countries. The study trust on this to analyse 1) the spatiotemporal dynamics of wetland between the urban and peri-urban areas of Bamenda, and 2) its implication to urban and peri-urban wetland policy. Landsat images of the study area for 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2022 were used and documentary review carried out to gain deeper understanding of urban and peri-urban wetland management policies. Images were processed using supervised classification with the help of ArcGIS 10.3 and Google Earth images. Findings reveal that, wetlands reduced from 5.31 km2 (7.32%) and 6.29 km2 (3.05%) in 1992 to 0.43 km2 (0.59%) and 4.48 km2 (2.17%) in 2022 respectively in urban and peri-urban areas. While built up area increased from 14.78 km2 (20.37%) and 8.54 km2 (4.14%) in 1992 to 36.89 km2 (50.85%) and 16.83 km (8.15%) in 2022 for urban and peri-urban areas. This greatly triggered wetland loss coupled with urban sprawl and agricultural expansion. But, wetland management policy of the Bamenda City Council remains incomprehensive as degradation proliferates. Thus, urban and peri-urban wetland policy is not adequately regarded in Bamenda and the city is fast losing its privilege of a possible accreditation as a “Wetland City.” This calls for urgent and accelerated awareness raising and implementation of policies for sustainable urban and peri-urban wetlands management.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Dingha Chrispo Babila, MBANGA Lawrence AKEI, Kometa Sunday Shende
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