Impact of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Ecosystem Services Value in Mwanza City, Tanzania

Laison S. Kaganga *

Department of Geography, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Ngogo Mang’enyi Ngogo

Department of Geography, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Mwanza, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Ecosystem services are vital services that support life and are the basis for human socio-economic progress. However, changes in land use and land cover (LULC) brought about by urban expansion degrade them. Thus, analysing the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) change on ecosystem service values (ESVs) is crucial for understanding and informing resource policy decisions. This study aims to analyse the impact of land use and land cover changes on ecosystem service values in Mwanza City, Tanzania. To achieve that, the benefits transfer approach was employed to analyse the changes in ESV in response to LULC. We estimated and analysed changes in ESV using satellite image datasets from 1999, 2009, and 2019. The LULC classes that were identified are vegetated land, agricultural land, waterbodies, built-up area, and bareland. The results exhibit that Mwanza City experienced significant LULC changes. While vegetated land, agricultural land, and bareland decreased by 49%, 15%, and 36%, respectively, the built-up area and water bodies increased by 568% and 48%, respectively, during the two decades. The total ESV decreased from 31.35 million US dollars to 26.3 million US dollars between 1999 and 2009 and to 23.96 million US dollars between 2009 and 2019. The waterbodies increased due to the increased volume of water in streams that expanded the floodplains, which resulted from surface runoff attributed to increased paved surfaces as more land was converted into a built-up environment upstream. The built-up area and bareland contributed nothing to ESV. However, the built-up area was the driving force behind the reduction of ESV in other LULC classes, as it was encroaching on them. The study concludes that the decrease in ESV reflects the degradation of ecosystem services due to the change in LULC. Hence, it is recommended that sustainable management of ecosystems be adhered for the proper functioning of the earth’s life-support system.

Keywords: Benefits transfer method, ecosystem services, land use/cover, Tanzania, urbanisation

How to Cite

Kaganga , L. S., & Ngogo , N. M. (2024). Impact of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Ecosystem Services Value in Mwanza City, Tanzania. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, 23(5), 30–40.


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