University of Twente Student Theses


An analysis of drivers of land use change: The case of Bakun, Northern Philippines

Follosco, Alicia G. (2011) An analysis of drivers of land use change: The case of Bakun, Northern Philippines.

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Abstract:The need to provide food, water, timber, fiber and fuel to a global population that recently surpassed seven billion is driving worldwide alterations to forests, waterways, air quality, as well as farmlands. The increasing degradation of ecosystems and the diminishing quality and quantity of ecosystem services brought about by human activity are resulting to significant land use changes. Land use change is a complex, dynamic process that links together natural and human systems and is recognized as an important factor in the functioning of environmental and socio-economic systems at local, regional and global scales. There are direct and underlying causes of land use change and a considerable amount of work attempts to analyze which factors are the dominant driving forces of land use. This study aims to describe the developments in Bakun, an upland farming municipality in the northern Philippines, and to analyze the most influential drivers of change that affect its economic and spatial developments. The study reveals that the most important direct causes of land use change over the years are industrial timber extraction, agricultural expansion, the improvement and extension of roads, and conservation. Underpinning these direct causes differently are (1) demographic factors, namely a growing population, a transient farming population and the outmigration of locals for employment elsewhere; (2) economic factors, primarily market access, local government income from mini-hydro power generation, employment and off-farm livelihoods; (3) national policies implemented in the area over the years, and (4) cultural factors, primarily the recognition of customary rights to land and indigenous forest management practices. A land use/land cover change analysis provided proof of spatial transformations. This research concludes that policies exert the greatest influence in land use change. Keywords: drivers of land use change, land use/land cover change analysis
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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