Assessment of Forest Cover Change under Different Forest Tenure Regimes in Ngitili Management Systems in Meatu District, Tanzania
Deforestation and forest degradation are tied to a complex array of socioeconomic and political factors. Quantifying the amount of forest is key to ensure that appropriate management practices and policies are in place to combat deforestation and forest degradation. Despite the fact that forestland tenure changes from private and communal to state ownership occurred in Ngitili management systems in Meatu district Tanzania, little has been done to evaluate its impacts on forest cover. The objective of this study was to assess the forest cover changes under different tenure regimes in Ngitili management system. Landsat imagery of 1986 and 2000 were used in this study and data were analyzed using QGIS software. Results show that open land, grassland, bushland and open forest were the dominant forest classes under private and communal tenure regime while semi closed forest dominated most of the Ngitili area under the state tenure regime. The study concludes by supporting the alternative hypothesis that, forest land tenure changes have significant impacts on forest cover. The study recommends that, a study is needed to assess the impact of devolution which occurred in 2002 on forest cover change.
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