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Forest cover loss and recovery in an East African remnant forest area : understanding its context and drivers for conservation and sustainable ecosystem service provision

(2018) APPLIED GEOGRAPHY. 98. p.133-142
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Abstract
Understanding of the often complex forest cover change drivers, and the perceived and observed forest cover changes substantially contributes to the sustainable management of tropical forests. This paper aims at developing an integrated view on tropical forest cover change and its drivers by combining the perception of the stakeholders (farmers, forest guards, and forest managers) and five decades forest cover mapping, based on interview and remote sensing respectively, through a case study in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Afforestation and deforestation occurred when law enforcement was stronger and weaker respectively, depending on political regimes. Since 1937 i.e., the early Imperial period, the position of the forest edge has not changed much over time, it rather became sharper. In the late Imperial era (1972-1975), the forest cover declined only by 1.6%. In the subsequent two governments, the socialist and the current federal rule (1975-2014), the forest cover increased by 17%. There was a 3.9% forest cover decline during the transition between the two governments. This pattern of overall net forest cover increase observed by remote sensing data has been correctly perceived by stakeholders. Stakeholders acknowledged the observed forest cover increase, however, they argued that the forest is declining in terms of its quality for several ecosystem services (ES). The ES decline is believed to have resulted from the gradual shift of pure dense indigenous forest to an increasing share of exotic plantations. In the three political regimes, land policy, illegal encroachments, population pressure and social unrest have been the leading drivers of forest cover change. Communities' involvement in forest management activities and sharing benefits were regarded as positive perception of forest management strategies during the federal administration (1993-2007) of the current government by farmers. Among the factors that determine forest management strategies proposed by stakeholders are gender, landholding size, education level and age. Future conservation and development interventions need to consider stakeholders' concerns. Their involvement in forest management is also necessary for improved biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service provision, and social wellbeing.
Keywords
CENTRAL RIFT-VALLEY, PROTECTED AREA, HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT, SCATTERED, TREES, LAND-USE, ETHIOPIA, DEFORESTATION, BIODIVERSITY, DETERMINANTS, RESTORATION, Afforestation, Deforestation, Forest quality, Perception, Community, participation, Forest management strategies

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Citation

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Chicago
Tekalign, Meron, Charlotte Flasse, Amaury Frankl, Anton Van Rompaey, Jean Poesen, Jan Nyssen, and Bart Muys. 2018. “Forest Cover Loss and Recovery in an East African Remnant Forest Area : Understanding Its Context and Drivers for Conservation and Sustainable Ecosystem Service Provision.” Applied Geography 98: 133–142.
APA
Tekalign, M., Flasse, C., Frankl, A., Van Rompaey, A., Poesen, J., Nyssen, J., & Muys, B. (2018). Forest cover loss and recovery in an East African remnant forest area : understanding its context and drivers for conservation and sustainable ecosystem service provision. APPLIED GEOGRAPHY, 98, 133–142.
Vancouver
1.
Tekalign M, Flasse C, Frankl A, Van Rompaey A, Poesen J, Nyssen J, et al. Forest cover loss and recovery in an East African remnant forest area : understanding its context and drivers for conservation and sustainable ecosystem service provision. APPLIED GEOGRAPHY. 2018;98:133–42.
MLA
Tekalign, Meron, Charlotte Flasse, Amaury Frankl, et al. “Forest Cover Loss and Recovery in an East African Remnant Forest Area : Understanding Its Context and Drivers for Conservation and Sustainable Ecosystem Service Provision.” APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 98 (2018): 133–142. Print.
@article{8577721,
  abstract     = {Understanding of the often complex forest cover change drivers, and the perceived and observed forest cover changes substantially contributes to the sustainable management of tropical forests. This paper aims at developing an integrated view on tropical forest cover change and its drivers by combining the perception of the stakeholders (farmers, forest guards, and forest managers) and five decades forest cover mapping, based on interview and remote sensing respectively, through a case study in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Afforestation and deforestation occurred when law enforcement was stronger and weaker respectively, depending on political regimes. Since 1937 i.e., the early Imperial period, the position of the forest edge has not changed much over time, it rather became sharper. In the late Imperial era (1972-1975), the forest cover declined only by 1.6\%. In the subsequent two governments, the socialist and the current federal rule (1975-2014), the forest cover increased by 17\%. There was a 3.9\% forest cover decline during the transition between the two governments. This pattern of overall net forest cover increase observed by remote sensing data has been correctly perceived by stakeholders. Stakeholders acknowledged the observed forest cover increase, however, they argued that the forest is declining in terms of its quality for several ecosystem services (ES). The ES decline is believed to have resulted from the gradual shift of pure dense indigenous forest to an increasing share of exotic plantations. In the three political regimes, land policy, illegal encroachments, population pressure and social unrest have been the leading drivers of forest cover change. Communities' involvement in forest management activities and sharing benefits were regarded as positive perception of forest management strategies during the federal administration (1993-2007) of the current government by farmers. Among the factors that determine forest management strategies proposed by stakeholders are gender, landholding size, education level and age. Future conservation and development interventions need to consider stakeholders' concerns. Their involvement in forest management is also necessary for improved biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service provision, and social wellbeing.},
  author       = {Tekalign, Meron and Flasse, Charlotte and Frankl, Amaury and Van Rompaey, Anton and Poesen, Jean and Nyssen, Jan and Muys, Bart},
  issn         = {0143-6228},
  journal      = {APPLIED GEOGRAPHY},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {133--142},
  title        = {Forest cover loss and recovery in an East African remnant forest area : understanding its context and drivers for conservation and sustainable ecosystem service provision},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2018.07.014},
  volume       = {98},
  year         = {2018},
}

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