Modelling of INTER-Linkages Between LAND Cover Pattern and Socio-Economic Factors in the Idemili River Basin of South Eastern Nigeria 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Nnamdi IFEANYI Maduekwe and Francis Adeyinka Adesina, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria
This study explores the inter-relationships between socio-economic factors and land cover pattern in the Idemili River Basin of South Eastern Nigeria. It is based on the concept of coupled human environment systems and focuses on the modelling of community scale relationships between critical land cover parameter and socio-demographic, economic and cultural factors in the basin. The modelling was implemented with pixel level NDVI indicators of vegetation cover density developed from NigeriaSat image with 32m resolution linked to eight indicators of socio-economic factors developed from a household survey of the basin. NDVI and socio-economic data were matched for 25 sampled localities in the basin and their relationships modelled with correlation, regression and Principal Component Analysis statistics. NDVI based image analysis showed a high level of human impact on vegetation. The Model output shows that bivariate relationships between vegetation cover dynamics and socio-demographic variables were the most significant, with R Square values > 0.60 for linear and non linear models. Vegetation cover density has high inverse correlations with population, urbanization levels and number of households in localities. Population/urbanization status of localities was also the most significant Principal Component or underlying dimension linked to spatial dynamics of vegetation cover in the basin accounting for 50% of factor variations. Relationships between vegetation cover densities and economic factors (occupational and household energy patterns) and socio-cultural factors (environmental knowledge, values and governance) were weaker and less significant. The study captured the linkages between landcover- represented by vegetation cover- and socio-economic parameters. It demonstrates that socio-economic factors are major drivers of change in the basin.

Key Words: Socio-economic factors, Vegetation Cover, NDVI, Socio-ecological Systems, State Variables, South Eastern Nigeria