Remote Sensing for Detection and Assessment of Forests and Range Lands Degradation in Al-Halba Area White Nile State Sudan (1973-2014)

Eltayeb I. Wadi, Abdelrahim A.M. Salih, Ahmed H.I. Elfaig


This paper attempts to detect the change in forests and range lands in the arid lands of the Sudan in general, and in Al-Halba Area in particular during the last 40 years (1973-2014). The main objective of the study is to measure the amount and rate of change in vegetation cover including both forests and grazing lands. Basically, the study is based on Remote Sensing of satellite imagery of Landsat data acquired in 1973 and 2014. The data were processed and analyzed using open sources of GIS and remote sensing software. In addition, the complementary data needed for the study were drawn from the field work conducted in October, 2015, and from secondary sources. The analysis revealed considerable deterioration of natural resources including the tree cover and range lands in the study area. One of the main findings of the study revealed that, forests have been degraded from (33512.72 Ha.) in 1973 to (10508 Ha.) in 2014, with an annual removal rate of 1.67% or (561 Ha). During this period, the area loss was about 70% of the tree cover. The range lands also shrank from (60665.84 Ha) to (52455.2 Ha) with an annual rate of 0.33% or (200 Ha) during the same period.  The decrease in forest cover occurred as the result in the expansion of some land uses and bare lands (agriculture, settlements, and bare soil), they expanded from (12924.5 Ha) in 1973 to (44819.75 Ha) in 2014, with an annual growth rate of 1.7% or (779 Ha). The main reasons of degradation of natural resources and expansion of bare lands may be due to the rapid growth of population which stands for about 3% annually and to the increasing demand for more land for agriculture and the building of settlements. The removal of forests and range lands has disturbed the inherited ecosystems, and contributed to desertification and loss of fauna and flora in the area. Efforts from both authorities and people should be exerted to promote awareness and actions on conservation of forest and range land ecosystems.


forests and range lands; degradation; White Nile State; Sudan; remote sensing

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Sudan Geographical Journal          1858-7992