Effects of Peri-Urban Land Use Changes on Forest Ecosystem Services: The Case of Settlements Surrounding Pugu and Kazimzumbwi Forest Reserves in Tanzania

  •  John Lupala    
  •  Makarius Mdemu    
  •  Stanslaus Butungo    


Peri-urban settlements constitute foci of urban expansion in most cities of the developing world. They provide livelihood opportunities by exploiting adjacent resources such as forest products, land and water. Yet they constitute a conflicting zone of development whereby urban and rural livelihoods compete for space. This paper examines the effects of peri-urban land-use changes on forest ecosystem services from Pugu and Kazimzumbwi forest reserves. Land use changes were analysed using series aerial photographs of between 1975 and 2012. This was complemented with participatory resource mapping, focus group discussion and key informant interviews to identify and qualify changes in ecosystem services over the period of 37 years. Literature review was also used to capture non-spatial data. Results indicate that there has been tremendous change in built-up area surrounding the forest reserve. It increased from 608.78 hectares in 1975 to 4,933.51 hectares in 2012 representing an increase from 2.4 to 19.1 percent. The same trend pervaded residential and the reverse for open land uses. These changes have resulted into disappearance of ecosystem services (plant and animal species, honey and wax production, mushrooms and water resources). The remaining forest ecosystem services are likely to completely disappear in few years if protection and conservation measures will not be stepped up. Guided land use plans for all areas surrounding the forest reserves and decentralized forest management have been recommended to facilitate restoration of forest services.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9779
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9787
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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