Environment and Ecology Research Vol. 12(1), pp. 27 - 39
DOI: 10.13189/eer.2024.120104
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Assessing Land Use Transformation in Kanhangad Town: A Special Emphasis on Wetland Ecosystems


Abhilash M P 1, Sooraj G 2,*, H.S. Kumara 3, C.K. Ajai Chandran 4
1 Town and Country Planning Department, Government of Karnataka, India
2 Department of Urban Planning, Lovely School of Architecture and Planning, Lovely Professional University, India
3 School of Planning and Architecture, University of Mysore, India
4 School of Architecture, Christ Deemed to be University, India

ABSTRACT

Kerala, renowned for its lush landscapes, is facing environmental challenges due to rapid urbanization, particularly in Kanhangad. This area, notable for its unique wetland ecosystem crucial for biodiversity and human livelihoods, is experiencing a conflict between residential development and wetland conservation. A comprehensive study in Kanhangad, employing diverse data sources such as open-source data, Google Earth Satellite Imagery, OpenStreetMap, and tools like ArcGIS, provides a detailed analysis of land use and its environmental impacts. The study combines digital data analysis with physical surveys to understand the ecological and developmental status comprehensively. The study reveals a dominant trend in Kanhangad's land use, with residential areas comprising 52% of the total land, mostly large, detached single-family homes. This reflects a societal shift towards viewing homes as status symbols, contributing to natural resource depletion. The research underscores the need for sustainable, low-cost housing, suggesting vertical housing as a potential solution to balance residential demands with environmental conservation. Kanhangad's wetlands, essential for local biodiversity and livelihoods, face threats from urban development and infrastructural expansion. The study shows a drastic reduction in wetland area, from 12.9 km2 in 2004-05 to just 1.66 km2 by 2020-21, indicating severe ecological degradation. Despite the Kerala Conservation of Paddy land and Wetland Act of 2008, which aims to protect these ecosystems, its limited effectiveness is evident from the ongoing depletion of wetlands. This situation calls for stricter enforcement of environmental regulations and greater public involvement in conservation efforts. Furthermore, the research examines the Kerala Paddy and Wetland Conservation Act-2008, analysing its role and effectiveness in local environmental governance. The Act, focusing on prohibiting wetland and paddy land conversion, is vital for regional conservation. However, gaps in its implementation are highlighted, especially considering the exacerbation of the 2018 and 2019 Kerala floods due to land conversion practices. The study emphasizes the urgent need for more robust environmental protection measures.

KEYWORDS
Wetland, Land Use, Conservation and Preservation, Eco-system

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Abhilash M P , Sooraj G , H.S. Kumara , C.K. Ajai Chandran , "Assessing Land Use Transformation in Kanhangad Town: A Special Emphasis on Wetland Ecosystems," Environment and Ecology Research, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 27 - 39, 2024. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2024.120104.

(b). APA Format:
Abhilash M P , Sooraj G , H.S. Kumara , C.K. Ajai Chandran (2024). Assessing Land Use Transformation in Kanhangad Town: A Special Emphasis on Wetland Ecosystems. Environment and Ecology Research, 12(1), 27 - 39. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2024.120104.