Land Cover Change Assessment in East Africa Countries
Tuckova, Katerina1; Brodsky, Lukas1; Brink, Andreas2; Bodart, Catherine2; Ernst, Celine3; Defourny, Pierre3

The object of the assessment of land cover and land cover change was to provide Environmental Country Profiles (Cotonou Agreement) in East Africa countries by statistically relevant sampling scheme, Area Frame Sampling. In particular the task aims at estimation of land cover area statistics, computation of land cover changes and documentation of land cover changes processes. Thematically, the developed product allows assessment of croplands extension, natural vegetation cover loss or re-growth, land degradation as input for land degradation model and derived indicators such as anthropogenic impact from natural to managed land.

The East Africa - IGAD region with its great variety of ecological regions experienced major changes during the last decades. IGADís population in 2000 was about 167 million people and about 215 million people ten years later (2010). About 80% of the population lives in rural areas and 75% of economic active population is dependent on agriculture (for the year 2000). The importance of agricultural production is considerable and continuous population growth increases the demand for amount of food. The relevant information about land cover and its changes, especially agricultural intensification, is necessary for informed decision making.

The strategy for land cover mapping comprises of semi-automated interactive interpretation of high resolution Landsat and DMC Deimos images extracts in the 10-classes maps and area statistics. The automated change detection is based on an object-oriented method over two-time intervals: 1990-2000 and 2000-2010. The African Area Frame Sampling Scheme in IGAD countries (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda) consists of 445 scenes with the standard sample size 20*20 km. The results identified in the samples were statistically extrapolated to the entire IGAD region.

The land cover status for reference year 2000 and land cover changes 1990-2000/2000-2010 are available via dedicated analytical web tool ( The SATChMo Africa Exploration Tool is a demonstrator of a flexible software framework implementation supporting user-friendly exploration of spatial data in web environment. The SATChMo Africa Exploration Tool is based on the WebTool framework technology developed by GISAT, integrating different modes of presentation (maps, tables and graphs) in active, interlinked manner with instant application response. The default defined tabs are provided to allow user immediate analysis of the complete data set and/or selected regions or countries.

The generic land cover maps and land cover changes production in East Africa countries was performed within SATChMo Africa component of FP7 geoland2 project.