Gargi Chaudhuri* - University of Wisconsin La Crosse
This study aims at furthering our understanding of the impact of population pressure and land use policies on land use and land cover change of the Ganges delta region of India. In particular, pixel based classification techniques will be used to extract land use information from multi-temporal Landsat data. The maps thus created will be used to analyze the trend of land use over time. The results will be further analyzed along with socio-demographic data and local and national land use policies to identify the different drivers of land use change in the region. This low-lying plain was chosen because it suffers from extreme population pressure, poverty, unprecedented urbanization, and pollution. The rapid land change and modification are threats to biodiversity and city habitability, but will also themselves be influenced by warmer temperature, sea-level rise, and changes in the monsoon regime. If global change is to be managed for humankind's benefit, then control and knowledge of land use change will be paramount, because land use is fundamental to human activities, and because policy is the most credible mechanism for influencing patterns and trajectories of change.