Long-term changes in forest cover in a global biodiversity hotspot in southern Mozambique

Keywords: Charcoal production, deforestation, Maputaland, remote sensing, traditional authority

Abstract

Background: Deforestation is a complex and dynamic process of widespread concern in sub-Saharan Africa which is influenced by a range of social, economic and biophysical factors.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse patterns of deforestation and its potential drivers in the Licuáti Forest Reserve, a biodiversity hotspot in southern Mozambique between 1990 and 2016. Method: We performed image classification on Landsat imagery at six time steps and interviewed local community members to understand the spatial pattern and rate of forest cover loss over time. We also examined changes in the incidence of fire.
Results: A substantial increase in the rate of deforestation since 1990 was detected in this vulnerable thicket vegetation. The probability of deforestation was significantly higher near the major roads, where houses are located. This suggests that the proximity of human settlements to the forest, and access to charcoal markets in urban areas, influenced the spatial pattern. Two key factors 1) charcoal production, and 2) the establishment of settlements and agricultural lands were identified as proximate causes of deforestation. In addition, fires associated with these two causes might amplify the loss of forests in the area.
Conclusions: Complex interactions between the drivers of deforestation and socio-economic factors were suggested, as most of the charcoal produced in the region is transported to Maputo. Ongoing road improvements and infrastructural development in the region will likely accelerate the decline in forest cover in the future. This has implications for the biodiversity of the region as well as for the sustainability of local livelihoods, as they often depend on forest products for their daily uses.

Author Biographies

Wataru Tokura, University of Cape Town; Japan Wildlife Research Center

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Japan Wildlife Resarch Center, Tokyo, Japan

Hermenegildo Matimele, Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique

Herbarium: Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique C.P. 3658 Maputo Mozambique

Julian Smit, University of Cape Town

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Michael Timm Hoffman, University of Cape Town

Director: Plant Conservation Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

References

Ahrends, A., Burgess, N.D., Milledge, S.A., Bulling, M.T., Fisher, B., Smart, J.C., Clarke, G.P., Mhoro, B.E. & Lewis, S.L., 2010, ‘Predictable waves of sequential forest degradation and biodiversity loss spreading from an African city’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107, 14556–14561. doi: 10.1073/ pnas.0914471107.

Alfani, F., Azzarri, C., D’Errico, M. & Molini, V., 2012, ‘Poverty in Mozambique: New evidence from recent household surveys’, World Bank Policy Research paper 6217. Bandyopadhyay, S., Shyamsundar, P. & Baccini, A., 2011,

‘Forests, biomass use and poverty in Malawi’, Ecological Economics 70, 2461–2471. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.

08.003.

Burgess, N.D., Malugu, I., Sumbi, P., Kashindye, A., Kijazi, A., Tabor, K., Mbilinyi, B., Kashaigili, J., Wright, T.M., Gereau, R.E., Coad, L., Knights, K., Carr, J., Ahrends, A. & Newham, R.L., 2017, ‘Two decades of change in state, pressure and conservation responses in the coastal forest biodiversity hotspot of Tanzania’, Oryx 51, 77–86. doi:10.1017/S003060531500099X.

Cavendish, W., 2000, ‘Empirical regularities in the poverty-environment relationship of rural households: evidence from Zimbabwe’, World Development 28, 1979–2003. doi: 10.1016/S0305-750X(00)00066-8.

Cuvilas, C.A., Jirjis, R. & Lucas, C., 2010, ‘Energy situation in Mozambique: A review’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14, 2139–2146. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2010.02.002.

DeFries, R.S., Rudel, T., Uriarte, M. & Hansen, M., 2010, ‘Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century’, Nature Geoscience 3, 178–181. doi: 10.1038/ngeo756.

Direcção Nacional de Estudos e Análise de Políticas (DNEAP), 2010, ‘Poverty and wellbeing in Mozambique: Third national poverty assessment’, Ministry of Planning and Development, Maputo, Mozambique.

Ellegård, A., Chidumayo, E., Malimbwi, R., Pereira, C. & Voss, A., 2002, ‘Charcoal potential in southern Africa CHAPOSA (Final Report)’, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Gathua, M., 2000, ‘The effects of primates and squirrels on seed survival of a canopy tree, Afzelia quanzensis, in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya’, Biotropica 32, 127–132. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2000.tb00455.x.

Gaugris, J.Y. & Van Rooyen, M.W., 2008, ‘A spatial and temporal analysis of Sand Forest tree assemblages in Maputaland, South Africa’, South African Journal of Wildlife Research 38, 171–184. doi: 10.3957/0379-4369-38.2.171.

Gaugris, J.Y., Van Rooyen, M.W. & Bothma, J. du P., 2008, ‘Growth rate of selected woody species in northern Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’, South African Journal of Botany 74, 85–92. doi: 0.1016/j.sajb.2007.09.001.

Geist, H.J. & Lambin, E.F., 2002, ‘Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation: Tropical forests are disappearing as the result of many pressures, both local and regional, acting in various combinations in different geographical locations’, Bioscience 52, 143–150. doi: 10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0143:PCAUDF]2.0.CO;2.

Green, J.M.H., Larrosa, C., Burgess, N.D., Balmford, A., Johnston, A., Mbilinyi, B.P., Platts, P.J. & Coad, L., 2013,

‘Deforestation in an African biodiversity hotspot: Extent, variation and the effectiveness of protected areas’, Biological Conservation 164, 62–72. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.04.016. Page 11 of 17

Hansen, M.C., Potapov, P. V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S.A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S.V.,

Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R., Kommareddy, A., Egorov, A., Chini, L., Justice, C.O. & Townshend, J.R.G., 2013, ‘High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change’, Science 342, 850–853. doi: 10.1126/science.1244693.

Hosonuma, N., Herold, M., De Sy, V., De Fries, R.S., Brockhaus, M., Verchot, L., Angelsen, A. & Romijn, E., 2012, ‘An

assessment of deforestation and forest degradation drivers in developing countries’, Environmental Research Letters 7, 44009. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044009.

Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2010, Projecções da População 2007–2040, viewed 24 November 2016 from http://www.ine.gov.mz/.

Izidine, S.A. 2003, ‘Licuáti Forest Reserve, Mozambique: Flora, utilization and conservation’, MSc thesis, Dept. of

Wildlife Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Izidine, S., Siebert, S. & Van Wyk, B., 2003, ‘Maputaland’s Licuáti forest and thicket’, Veld & Flora 89, June, pp. 56–61.

Izidine, S.A., Siebert, S.J., Van Wyk, A.E. & Zobolo, A.M., 2008, ‘Taboo and political authority in conservation policy:

A case study of the Licuáti Forest in Maputaland, Mozambique’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 2,

–390. doi: 10.1558/jsrnc.v2i3.373.

Izidine, S., Siebert, S., Van Wyk, A.E. & Zobolo, A.M., 2009, ‘Threats to Ronga custodianship of a sacred grove

in southern Mozambique’, African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 7, 182–197. doi: 10.4314/indilinga.

v7i2.26435.

Jansen, L.J.M., Bagnoli, M. & Focacci, M., 2008, ‘Analysis of land-cover/use change dynamics in Manica Province in

Mozambique in a period of transition (1990–2004)’, Forest Ecology and Management 254, 308–326. doi: 10.1016/j.

foreco.2007.08.017.

Kirkwood, D., 2002, ‘Floristics and dynamics of Sand Forest, a subtropical dry forest type in South Africa’, PhD thesis, Dept. of Botany, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Kleemann, J., Baysal, G., Bulley, H.N. & Fürst, C., 2017, ‘Assessing driving forces of land use and land cover change by a mixed-method approach in north-eastern Ghana, West Africa’, Journal of Environmental Management 196, 411-442. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.053.

Kloppers, R.J. 2001, ‘The utilisation of natural resources in the Matutuine district of southern Mozambique: implications for transfrontier conservation’, MA thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Matthews, W.S., Van Wyk, A.E., Van Rooyen, N. & Botha, G.A., 2001, ‘Vegetation of the Tembe Elephant Park, Maputaland, South Africa’, South African Journal of Botany 67, 573–594. doi: 10.1016/S0254-6299(15)31188-1.

Mayaux, P., Pekel, J-F., Desclée, B., Donnay, F., Lupi, A., Achard, F., Clerici M., Bodart, C., Brink, A., Nasi, R. & Belward, A., 2013, ‘State and evolution of the African rainforests between 1990 and 2010’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 368, 20120300–20120300. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0300.

McGregor, J., 1998, ‘Violence and social change in a border economy: war in the Maputo hinterland, 1984–1992’,

Journal of Southern African Studies 24, 37–60. doi:10.1080/03057079808708566.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005, ‘Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis’, Washington, DC. USA.

Puná, N.H., 2008, ‘Charcoal supply chain study in Mozambique’, in R. Kwaschik (ed), Conference on charcoal and

communities in Africa, proceedings, Maputo, Mozambique, June 16-18, 2008, pp. 62–76.

Puyravaud, J-P., 2003, ‘Standardizing the calculation of the annual rate of deforestation’, Forest Ecology and Management 177, 593–596. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00335-3.

R Core Team, 2014, ‘R: a language and environment for statistical computing’, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.r-project.org/.

Rudel, T.K., 2013, ‘The national determinants of deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 368, 20120405–20120405. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0405.

Rudel, T.K., DeFries, R., Asner, G.P. & Laurance, W.F., 2009, ‘Changing drivers of deforestation and new opportunities for conservation’, Conservation Biology 23, 1396–1405. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01332.x.

Ryan, C.M., Berry, N.J. & Joshi, N., 2014, ‘Quantifying the causes of deforestation and degradation and creating

transparent REDD+ baselines: A method and case study from central Mozambique’, Applied Geography 53, 45–

doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.05.014.

Ryan, C.M., Pritchard, R., McNicol, I., Owen, M., Fisher, J.A. & Lehmann, C., 2016, ‘Ecosystem services from southern African woodlands and their future under global change’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 371, 20150312. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0312.

Sedano, F., Silva, J.A., Machoco, R., Meque, C.H., Sitoe, A., Ribeiro, N., Anderson, K., Ombe, Z.A., Baule, S.H. & Tucker, C.J., 2016, ‘The impact of charcoal production on forest degradation: a case study in Tete, Mozambique’, Environmental Research Letters 11, 094020. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/094020.

Siebert, S., Bandeira, S., Burrows, J. & Winter, P., 2002, ‘SABONET Southern Mozambique expedition 2001’, SABONET News 7, 6–18.

Sitoe, A., Salomão, A. & Wertz-Kanounnikoff, S., 2012, ‘The context of REDD+ in Mozambique: drivers, agents, and

institutions’, CIFOR, Bogor.

Smith, R.J., Easton, J., Nhancale, B.A., Armstrong, A.J., Culverwell, J., Dlamini, S.K., Goodman, P.S., Loffler, L., Matthews, W.S., Monadjem, A., Mulqueeny, C., Ngwenya, P., Ntumi, C.P., Soto, B. & Leader-Williams, N., 2008, ‘Designing a transfrontier conservation landscape for the Maputaland centre of endemism using biodiversity, economic and threat data’, Biological Conservation 141, 2127–2138. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.

06.010.

Soto, B., Munthali, S.M. & Breen, C., 2001, ‘Perception of the forestry and wildlife policy by the local communities living in the Maputo elephant reserve, Mozambique’, Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 1723–1738. doi: 10.1023/A:1012005620906.

Steenkamp, Y., Van Wyk, B., Victor, J., Hoare, D., Smith, G., Dold, A. & Cowling, R.M., 2004, ‘Maputaland–Pondoland–Albany’, in R.A. Mittermeier, P.R. Gil, M. Hoffman, J. Pilgrim, T. Brooks, C.G. Mittermeier, J. Lamoreux,

& G.A.B. Da Fonseca (eds.) Hotspots revisited, pp. 219-228, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Tredennick, A.T. & Hanan, N.P., 2015, ‘Effects of tree harvest on the stable-state dynamics of savanna and forest’, American Naturalist 185, E153-E165. doi: 10.1086/680475.

Turner, B.L., Lambin, E.F. & Reenberg, A., 2007, ‘The emergence of land change science for global environmental

Page 12 of 17 change and sustainability’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104, 20666–20671. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0704119104.

Van Wyk, A.E., 1996, ‘Biodiversity of the Maputaland Centre, in L.J.G. van der Maesen, X.M. van der Burgt & J.M.

van Medenbach de Rooy (eds.), The biodiversity of African plants: XIVth AETFAT Congress proceedings, Wageningen, Netherlands, 22-27 August 1994, pp. 198–207.

Wiesmann, D. & Quinn, D., 2016, Rasclass: supervised raster image classification, viewed 28 September 2016 from https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=rasclass.

Woollen, E., Ryan, C.M., Baumert, S., Vollmer, F., Grundy, I., Fisher, J., Fernando, J., Luz, A., Ribeiro, N. & Lisboa, S.N., 2016, ‘Charcoal production in the Mopane woodlands of Mozambique: what are the trade-offs with other ecosystem services?’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 371(1703), 20150315. doi: 0.1098/rstb.2015.0315.

Zulu, L.C. & Richardson, R.B., 2013, ‘Charcoal, livelihoods, and poverty reduction: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa’, Energy for Sustainable Development 17, 127–137. doi: 10.1016/j.esd.2012.07.007.

Published
2020-05-19
How to Cite
Tokura, W., Matimele, H., Smit, J., & Hoffman, M. T. (2020). Long-term changes in forest cover in a global biodiversity hotspot in southern Mozambique. Bothalia, African Biodiversity & Conservation, 50(1). Retrieved from http://abcjournal.org/index.php/BothaliaABC/article/view/58
Section
Original research, Reviews, Strategies, Case studies