LANDSCAPE URBANIZATION AND FARMLAND REDUCTION FROM 2010 TO 2017 IN SOUTH CHINA
Land use land cover (LULC) of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao (GHKM), south china, has undergone significant changes in the last few decades. This study analyze the spatio-temporal LULC changes and urban expansion during 2010–2017 using Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI. The Landsat images were classified using support vector machine (SVM) into seven classes as forest, grassland, water, fishponds, built-up, bareland, and farmland. Several socioeconomic factors were also obtained to determine their impact on LULC. The result shows that during the studied period, massive economic development and urbanization has increased the built-up area from 8.26% (16,209.61 km 2) to 10.31% (20241.77 km 2) and substantial reduction in both farmland from 37.64% (73,897.77 km 2) to 33.05% (64932.19 km 2) and fishponds from 1.25% (2451.12 km 2) 0.85% (1674.71 km 2). The most dominant conversion were from farmland to built-up and to forest. Furthermore, forest cover increased to 45.02 % (88384.97 km 2) in 2017 from 42.38% (83215.59 km 2) in 2010 as a result of different afforestation scheme and policies in order to make Greener study area. The analysis of socioeconomic factors shows that increase in gross domestic product (GDP), total investment in fixed assets, and industrialization has led to urbanization growth on a large scale and reduction of farmland. Therefore, there is pressing need for sustainable development and protection of farmlands.