2020
  • ICIMOD publication

Assessing spatial patterns of forest degradation in dry Miombo woodland in Southern Tanzania

  • Sushma Bhattarai
  • Klaus Dons
  • Basant Pant

Miombo woodlands support diverse biodiversity and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa. Although these woodlands contain less carbon than humid forests, they are important for having large coverage and thus potentially important for national REDD+ carbon accounting. These woodlands are highly susceptible to forest degradation due to anthropogenic activities. Degradation activities are difficult to assess through remote sensing techniques alone. Alternatively, they can be estimated by using proxy variables such as infrastructure and settlements. This study is focused on the assessment of spatial patterns of forest degradation in Miombo woodland in Southern Tanzania. Diameter of stumps was collected through inventory of circular plots of 15 m radius in 25 transects at 500 m, 2500 m and 3500 m distance from the forest border. Group discussions and interviews with key informants provided additional information about local degradation activities. The spatial relationship between forest degradation and the proxy variables: major roads, settlements and forest edge were assessed with logistic and mixed linear regression analysis. Among all, the distance to settlement was found to be the best predictor for degradation in the study area.

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