The objective of the study was to understand the dynamics of land use and ecosystem service values in the Mekelle urban centre an...
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The objective of the study was to understand the dynamics of land use and ecosystem service values in the Mekelle urban centre and its hinterland, Ethiopia. The study was conducted using quantitative and qualitative research approaches with a sequential explanatory mixed research design. The spatial data were analyzed using ERDAS imagine for LULC classifications, Arc GIS for change detection and map preparation, spatial autocorrelation for land use/land cover changes, Structural equation model for identifying the driving forces, econometrics analysis using STATA for 384 surveyed households, predicting the future land use/land cover changes were performed using the cellular automata models in CLUMondo and document review and narrative analysis were made for qualitative data. Dramatic land-use dynamics occurred in response to population growth, climate variability and institutional changes. The land-use dynamics seriously affected ecosystem service values. The results from the household survey revealed that the majority of respondents showed their willingness to pay for watershed management. In a business-as-usual scenario, it was observed that ecosystem services value will decline by 2030 from the base year of 2019 by 4.02 million USD (12.18%), whereas under the spatial planning scenario, the ecosystem service value will increase by USD 4.17 million (13.03%) from the baseline year 2019. The study recommends understanding the current and future dynamics of land use and ecosystem service values is a base to devise proper policies geared towards a sustainable environment.
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The Dynamics of Land Use and Ecosystem Service Values in Mekelle Urban Centre and its Hinterland