Modelling past and future land use changes and potential conflicts from mining, agriculture, and industry in the rapidly developing region of Kuantan, Malaysia

Beream Nasir, Sharun (2022) Modelling past and future land use changes and potential conflicts from mining, agriculture, and industry in the rapidly developing region of Kuantan, Malaysia. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Kuantan is emerging as a dynamically developing region supported by the megaeconomic development projects such as the East Coast Economic Development Plan in conjunction with the extension of China-Malaysia bilateral industrial parks and establishment of East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), a part of the great Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Such a rapidly developing region requires a robust spatial analysis to understand the changing landscape pattern and its socio-environmental impacts to guide sustainable development. Addressing the lack of research focused on this key economic development region, this study aims to characterise and evaluate the historic and future projection of land use land cover (LULC) change patterns to understand the dynamics of the regional development process and to identify potential future land use conflicts. The methodology for this research includes construction of coarse-scale land cover classes by using Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 8 OLI data based on a combination of Random Forest classifier on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform and manual refinement to construct fine-scale LULC maps by using auxiliary reference data. The produced timeseries imageries’ overall accuracy assessment scored at an average of 83%. Subsequently, to further assess and model the future LULC change pattern, the Land Change Modeler (LCM) in TerrSet was utilized by training the multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network and using the Markov chain analysis.

The study shows that the region’s land cover will be largely altered by human intervention driven by urbanisation and the region’s evolving economic vision. Overall, the LULC timeseries for the years 2010 to 2020 revealed a prominent increase in oil palm plantation, followed by mining, residential, and industrial site expansion, with a consequent decline in forest and disturbed vegetation cover. The future land use projection for the year 2030 also revealed similar land use development patterns. Both the historical remote sensing data and future projections showed that industry, mining, and residential are clustered and growing in close proximity while expanding extensively, which may likely be a cause of future land use conflict. Although modelled future projections may contain many uncertainties, having the ability to envision future possible scenarios provide key insights into the current and evolving future patterns of land use changes and predicting their impacts on people and the environment. This will assist government bodies, stakeholders, and policy makers by providing information essential for future planning and sustainable development decisions.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Lechner, Alex M.
Nath, Tapan Kumar
Keywords: GIS, remote sensing, land use modelling, east coast economic region, east coast rail link, Kuantan
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Science > School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences
Item ID: 67550
Depositing User: Beream Nasir, Sharun
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 02:50
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 02:50

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