2011 Kondwani Godwin Munthali, Murayama Y Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences ISBN:


Natural ecological systems continue to be under severe threat from human influence in Malawi and Dzalanyama forest reserve in particular. To assist the relevant stakeholders understand the full extent of the problem and push for a reversal of the trend, a scenario analysis of the near-past, present and near-future deforestation levels was presented using fuzzy classification, the basic overlay and Markov chain analysis techniques. In trying to draw awareness by quantifying the gravity of the situation, the analysis has established that not only are the deforestation magnitudes worrisome but also that the trends will continue in the foreseeable future. The analysis also hinted on the complex factors driving the land cover changes. While acknowledging the roles played by population growth and poverty on deforestation, the influence of the changing economic opportunities triggered by social, political and infrastructural changes impacting on the rural population surrounding the forest reserve cannot be overemphasized. Upon deriving the direction and magnitude of change it is therefore only prudent that measures to address the problem should invoke and build on an all inclusive approach towards provision of a sustainable solution.

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