Document Type : Review article


Rongo University, Department of Environmental Studies, Kenya


To offer an increased understanding of the spatial patterns, temporal, social, and physical predictors of the conversion and transformations of land use in the Lake Victoria basin, a review of underlying causes (drivers and forces) is presented. This review discusses key theoretical underpinnings for the manifold linkages existing between selected pressures and drivers of land-use changes around the basin. This paper analyses ecosystems level cases of the causes of land use and cover changes in the basin, to determine any Spatio-temporal or institutional patterns and dynamics. A suite of recurrent core variables has been identified to influence land use and cover changes in the basin. Drivers are sometimes referred to as indirect or underlying drivers or driving forces. Key drivers include demographics; consumption and production patterns; scientific and technological innovation; economic demand, markets, and trade; distribution patterns; institutional and social-political frameworks, and value systems. Key pressures include emissions of substances that may take the form of pollutants or waste; external inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals, and irrigation; land use; resource extraction; and modification and movement of organisms. Human interventions may be directed towards causing the desired ecosystem change such as land use, or they may be intentional or unintentional by-products of other human activities, for example, pollution. The ecosystem is directly or indirectly affected by the social and economic sectors, contributing to change (either negative or positive) in human well-being and in the capacity/ability to cope with ecosystem changes. Impacts, be they on human well-being, the social and economic sectors or ecosystem services, are highly dependent on the characteristics of the drivers and, therefore, vary markedly between developing and developed regions.