USING SENTINEL 2 IMAGES TO QUANTIFY AGRICULTURAL ENCROACHMENT IN BURKINA FASO’S PROTECTED LIVESTOCK RESERVES
Keywords: Agriculture, Livestock, Pastoralism, Google Earth Engine, Burkina Faso
Abstract. Tensions around land use between agricultural and livestock-herding communities remain contentious in Burkina Faso. As such, land use patterns and interactions between grazing land and cropland are important to the dynamics of these tensions and conflicts. This study uses Sentinel 2 satellite imagery to evaluate the expansion and encroachment of cropland in two protected livestock reserves in Southern Burkina Faso: the Niassa and Sondré-Est Pastoral Zones. This study specifically looks at cropland expansion within the borders of the protected reserves. The method used, the 3 Period Timescan, creates a temporal NDVI profile across three key periods of the growing season (the start/planting period, middle and end/harvest). Cropland is easily identified against other land use types due to its unique NDVI profile, which shows a significant increase between the planting and pre-harvest period and stands out significantly against the smoother profile of natural vegetation. The NDVI profile is then made into a Red-Green-Blue composite image which allows for easy identification between cultivated and non-cultivated areas. This study found a significant expansion of cropland in both protected zones between the period of 2016 and 2021.