Land use and livelihood changes in the Mount Rungwe ecosystem, Tanzania

Tilumanywa, Verdiana T. (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Mount Rungwe ecosystem (MRE) has unique mountain resources. Its biological, hydrological, economic and cultural endowments offer many development opportunities for Tanzania. Since the 1970s, the MRE has experienced change in land use and means of acquiring livelihoods, calling for scientific investigation into the extent, nature, and magnitude of land use changes and their implications for communities’ livelihoods. The aim of the study was to investigate the major changes in land use, to identify the drivers responsible for these changes and to establish the interrelationship between land use change and communities’ livelihoods in order to suggest desirable management options towards improving rural livelihoods and the ecological integrity of MRE. A research design that integrates both qualitative and quantitative approaches was adopted. The fieldwork involved six villages representative of three ecological zones and 384 respondents were interviewed. Information on the past and present land uses, policies, institutions and processes that have influenced and are influencing land use change in the area was obtained through questionnaires, interviews, field observation, and analysis of documents. Satellite imagery of 1973, 1986, 1991 and 2010 were analysed for spatial and temporal statistics on land use and change. The findings indicate that MRE is experiencing land conversions from one land use category to the other especially in villages of the highland zone. Government policies on the use of and access to forests, agricultural land and energy have contributed to the past and current land use changes. Demographic, cultural, economic and natural factors singly or cumulatively have also induced changes in land use in MRE. Most of the changes in land use were noted between 1991 and 2010. At the district level there was a significant decrease in natural vegetation, particularly bushland and woodland, and an increase in cultivated land. Intensification of agricultural land use was more in the villages of the highland zone than in the middleland and lowland zones. Villages of the lowland zone showed a decline of cultivated land area, particularly in the tree crops category, and a constant or declining trend of the natural vegetation coverage – especially grasslands and woodlands. To reduce unplanned farm expansions into areas of natural vegetation, it is recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture should re-emphasise intercropping practices and provide extension services targeting crops such as potatoes and bananas which are now commercialised. This would be a step towards improving agricultural land productivity and addressing local food security. The ministry of Energy and Minerals could finance the ongoing tree planting efforts by local communities and enhance the use of more efficient charcoal stoves so as not only to protect the remaining forests but also as a way of diversifying the communities’ livelihoods.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Mount Rungwe ekosisteem (MRE) het 'n unieke berggebaseerde hulpbronbasis. Sy biologiese, hidrologiese, ekonomiese en kulturele erfenis bied vele ontwikkelingsgeleenthede vir Tanzanië. Sedert die 1970s het die MRE verandering in grondgebruik ervaar wat implikasies inhou vir bestaanswyses van sy bewoners. Daarom vereis die veranderingsverskynsel wetenskaplike ondersoek na die omvang en aard van grondgebruikveranderinge en die implikasies daarvan vir gemeenskappe se lewensbestaan. Die doel van die studie was om ondersoek in te stel na die belangrikste veranderinge in grondgebruik en om die drywers verantwoordelik vir hierdie veranderinge te identifiseer en die onderlinge verband tussen die verandering in grondgebruik en gemeenskappe se lewensbestaan te identifiseer. Daaruit word wenslike bestuursopsies duidelik vir die verbetering van landelike bestaansmoontlikhede en die handhawing van ekologiese integriteit van die MRE. 'n Navorsingsontwerp wat beide kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe benaderings integreer is gekies. Vir veldwerk is ses dorpe in drie ekologiese sones ondersoek en 384 respondente is ondervra. Inligting oor die grondgebruike, -veranderings, beleide, instellings en prosesse wat die gebied beïnvloed het, is verkry deur middel van vraelyste, onderhoude, veldwaarneming, en dokumentontleding. Satellietbeelde van 1973, 1986, 1991 en 2010 is ontleed vir ruimtelike en temporale patrone van grondgebruik en verandering. Die bevindinge dui daarop dat die MRE grondgebruik-omskakeling van verskillende kategorieë na ander in veral die hooglandsone ervaar. Regeringsbeleid oor die gebruik en toegang tot natuurlike woude, landbougrond en energiebronne het bygedra tot hierdie grondgebruike en hul veranderinge. Demografiese, kulturele, ekonomiese en omgewingsfaktore, enkel of kumulatief, het ook tot die veranderinge bygedra. Die meeste van die veranderinge in grondgebruik is tussen 1991 en 2010 aangeteken. Op distriksvlak het byvoorbeeld natuurlike plantegroei, veral bosveld en woud, beduidend oor die studietydperk afgeneem, terwyl die bewerkte grondoppervlak sterk toegeneem het. Intensivering van landbougrondgebruik was meer intens in die dorpe van die hooglandsone in vergelyking met die middelland en laer sones. Dorpe van die laer sone het weer 'n afname van bewerkte grond, veral boomagtige gewasse, en 'n konstante of dalende tendens van die natuurlike plantegroei ervaar – veral gras- en bosveld. Om ongewenste plaasuitbreidings na gebiede van natuurlike plantegroei te voorkom, beveel die studie aan dat die landbouministerie weer klem plaas op praktyk vir tussenverbouing van gewasse en voorligtingsdienste voorsien vir die verbouing van gekommersialiseerde gewasse soos aartappels en piesangs. Dit sou die verbetering van die landbou-produktiwiteit en die verhoging van plaaslike voedselsekuriteit in die hand werk. Die energieministerie behoort origens deurlopende boomplant-aksies deur plaaslike gemeenskappe te stimuleer deur verskaffing van finansies en moet die gebruik van meer doeltreffende houtskool stowe aanmoedig. Dit sal die oorblywende woude help beskerm en is ook 'n manier om die gemeenskappe se lewensonderhoudstelsels te diversifiseer en te verbeter.

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