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Assessing the spatial-temporal effect of charcoal extraction on public woodlands: A participatory approach in Gwata-Ujembe, Morogoro, Tanzania

Kiiza, Julius Simon (2009) Assessing the spatial-temporal effect of charcoal extraction on public woodlands: A participatory approach in Gwata-Ujembe, Morogoro, Tanzania.

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Abstract:The increased demand for charcoal in urban areas has led to degradation of forests and woodlands resources. This has made charcoal extraction to remain a serious problem to areas such as Gwata village, Morogoro district in Tanzania. The aim of this research is to assess the spatial-temporal effects of charcoal extraction on the woodlands in Gwata village. Data collection involved use of participatory rural appraisal techniques such as community meetings, interviews, focus group discussions. Participatory mapping facilitated collection of data on spatial distribution of charcoal kilns through transect walk. Stakeholder analysis was based on attributes of various stakeholders categorizing them into three groups: the conservation (law enforcers), extraction and land owners. Conflicts were evident during enforcement of forest conservation laws against charcoal extractors’ interests. Remote sensing techniques such as image classification and post-classification comparison techniques were applied in mapping and analysis of land cover types and land cover change (2000 - 2007). Socio-economic survey reveals that, charcoal is a major source of income (80%) and employment (20%) in the study area. Results of land cover changes and spatial-temporal aspect of charcoal extraction show that there was an increase in open woodlands at a rate of 0.75 % per year. Closed woodland declined at rate of 0.05% per year and riparian woodland showed a decrease at rate of 2.23% per year. The annual decline in all land cover was 2.52%. Old charcoal kiln points were spatially concentrated in open woodlands to the West and North-west parts of the study area, an indication of previous charcoal extraction activities. New charcoal kiln points were concentrated to the Western part of the study area indicating the availability of preferred tree species for charcoal extraction. The increase in open woodlands and the decline in the riparian and closed woodlands in this area are therefore linked with charcoal extraction activities. The governing stakeholders play major roles in mitigating extraction activities but their role is overridden by the demand for charcoal. Reduced price in cooking fuel and low electricity tariffs for urban dwellers is likely to slow down charcoal dependence. Alternative livelihood strategies are also recommended to local people in Gwata village. Capacity building for the local communities on law enforcement is likely to create awareness on provisions in the existing forest laws. These recommendations are crucial at the spatial scale investigated; taking these into account may lead to sustainable conservation of miombo woodlands. Key words: Spatial-temporal, charcoal extraction, miombo woodlands, degradation, stakeholder analysis, law enforcement.
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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