Landscape assessment for sustainable resettlement of potentially displaced communities in Ghana's emerging northwest gold province
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This study assesses the physical suitability of the local landscape to enhance resettlement of future displaced communities as a result of mining. The study focuses on Ghana's emerging northwest gold province. Landsat images from 1986 to 2014 were used to map land-use/land-cover changes to predict future changes. Participatory mapping and focus group discussions were incorporated, to develop reference points, training sites and land use areas by villages. The results showed that expansion of occupied lands occurred from 25.4% in 1986 to 44.8% in 2014 with associated increasing population densities. Predicted land-use/land-cover changes indicated 52% expansion of occupied lands over a 15 year period. Much of that expansion was from vegetation and waterlogging. The results also showed large patterns of waterlogging in the area. The existing and predicted landscape character in the area indicated unsuitable environments for enhanced resettlement and livelihood to potentially displaced communities as a result of future mining operations. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
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