Political and institutional factors and economic factors were ranked by local- and managerial-stakeholders as the most influential drivers affecting forest cover. Forty-seven percent of the local population stakeholders perceive that pressures are caused by political and economic drivers, and 61% of the managerial population stakeholders perceive that government policy and economic failure have a high influence on forest cover.
There was consistency among community and managerial stakeholders in the identification of drivers causing deforestation in the LTLT Landscape. Communities in the study area ranked the following drivers in order from most to least impactful: (1) political and institutional factors, (2) economic factors, (3) technological factors (4) cultural factors, and (5) demographic factors (Table 12). And, because political factors concomitantly affect all other driver categories (Chapter 3), it will be considered the most salient even though evenly ranked with economic factors. Managerial stakeholders ranked the following drivers in order from most impactful to least: (1) political and institutional factors, (2) economic factors, (3) technological factors and (4) cultural factors, (Table 2).
These findings show that manager’s rate government corruption, economic gain, and the lack of government provisions equally high (61%) as local communities (66%). These findings indicate that forests are controlled by top level individuals who have power and access to influence policy. Figure 3 depicts a model of the hierarchy of influence that stakeholders have over the driver process, using the most salient driver factors as examples.
There is consistency in the identification of impacts, i.e. reduction in ecosystem services, as a result of forest loss. For example, Figure 5 depicts the hierarchy associated with how impacts of forest loss are portrayed, whereas Figure 6 depicts the hierarchy associated with the risk factors associated with the impacts of forest loss. Sixty-nine percent of the sample population perceive there are changes in the water cycle and 74% perceive there are changes in climate patterns because of deforestation.
Community members articulated detailed descriptions of major shifts in the seasonal agricultural calendar. Locally, 72% of those surveyed state that deforestation adversely impacts their livelihood, indicating that forest loss affects every aspect of life for forest dwelling communities.
In LTLT, communities are experiencing reduced food security from diminished bushmeat, fish, and non-timber forest product supplies. More than 50% of individuals sampled at both lakes believe that the impacts of deforestation on food supplies are high to moderate. Fifty-two percent state they spend more time in the forest than before acquiring medicinal plants; 41% state that more diseases are occurring now than there had been previously.
- BioOne. (2017). Proximate Causes and Underlying Driving Forces of Tropical Deforestation. [online] Available at: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052%5B0143:PCAUDF%5D2.0.CO%3B2 .
- Change, A. (2017). Analysis of Forest Cover Change — Thepoetrytrust. [online] Thepoetrytrust. Available at: https://thepoetrytrust.org/analysis-forest-cover-change-essay.
- DeFries, R., Houghton, R., Hansen, M., Field, C., Skole, D. and Townshend, J. (2017). Carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and regrowth based on satellite observations for the 1980s and 1990s.