Assessment of land cover changes and attitudes of surrounding communities towards use of restrictive conservation approach on a sub-catchment of River Nabakazi in Mubende district
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The degradation of wetlands around the globe has led to development of various approaches at local, national, regional and global scales to halt it. Although people`s attitudes towards these various approaches are a great determinant of their success, they are not fully understood. This study sought mainly to assess the attitudes of frontline communities towards use of restrictive wetland conservation approach, in addition to the land cover changes between 1990 and 2020, and the awareness of implications of wetland degradation by frontline communities around a sub-catchment of Nabakazi river. Geographical Information Systems and Remote sensing techniques were used to analyze Land sat images captured in 1990 and 2020 to determine Land use/cover changes that occurred within this thirty-year period. A questionnaire was used to collect information which was used to assess attitudes of people towards use of restrictive conservation approach and their awareness of implications of wetland degradation. Results show a drastic decrease in area covered by the wetland (36.51%), grassland (41.38%) and forests (70.75%) and a drastic increase in the built-up (3699.04%) and agricultural area (2254.95%) within the sub-catchment. There was a general resentment of the government restriction approach by frontline communities. Additionally, the community was aware of the negative consequences of wetland degradation. These results show that conservation approaches that do not address contextual needs of the local people will always face resentment.