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The impacts of land use and practices on the environment : a case study in Butaw, Sinoe County, Liberia 2012-2016

D'Almeida, E.S.D. (2016) The impacts of land use and practices on the environment : a case study in Butaw, Sinoe County, Liberia 2012-2016.

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Abstract:Historically it has been acknowledged that regional economic growth and structural changes can directly affect land use patterns within a region, but little is known about the inverse: how a change or intervention in land use influences regional economic performance either from the direct anthropogenic (human-caused) perspective or from the indirect changes in climate. Alternatively, what are the barriers for development that slow the pace of economic growth? Under which circumstances and how can authorities promote the potential contribution and/or formulate programs and policies that will minimize unexpected economic consequences of land use practices? Several studies have been analyzed to learn more about those questions which framed the analysis of the Liberian case. This study investigates the impact of land use practices on the environment, using Butaw, Sinoe County as a case study in Liberia. The significance of this study is to improve the design and implementation of policies and practices related to land use in Liberia, using the outcome and recommendation from this research as a working document to help promulgate policies, practices and forester agendas that will improve ways and method of land use in Liberia. With a target population of 250 inhabitants, a sample size of 154 was selected based on purposive and random sampling. Questionnaire survey, key informant interviews and field observation were carried out. Secondary data was collected from reports and government policy documents. The study identifies that rural households depend on the forest and land for livelihood in the absence of sustainable alternatives. It also notes that existing land use practices such as shifting cultivation, chain sawmilling, commercial logging, artisanal mining and plantation agriculture are responsible for wild ranging environmental impact such as soil and water degradation, and the loss of forest and biodiversity. These impacts are attributed to the limited implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations in Liberia. The report recommends amongst other things the development of a comprehensive land-use policy and plan for the management of land; enactment of land reform initiative to enable rural people to formalize ownership to customary land; building the capacity of the FDA, Liberia Land Administration and the EPA to perform their monitoring and enforcement roles; and improve awareness about the harmful environmental impacts of existing land use practices while offering viable alternatives.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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