Volume 3, Issue 3, September 2018, Page: 31-39
Using ArcGIS to Analyze Land Availability for Rwanda’s Forest Area Expansion
Aline Umutoni, Electronic-Commerce/Management Science and Engineering Department, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
Wukui Wang, Electronic-Commerce/Management Science and Engineering Department, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
Received: Nov. 14, 2018;       Accepted: Dec. 18, 2018;       Published: Jan. 18, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ajere.20180303.11      View  844      Downloads  130
Abstract
In 2015 forest area of Rwanda was only limited to 19.5%. Rwanda’s goal is to extend its forests area 30% of its total land area by 2035 in order to meet the requirements of International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and International Union for the Conservation of Nature; ITTO/IUCN guidelines for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in tropical timber production forests published in 2009. Despite reforestation efforts, there has been a drastic reduction in total forest cover in Rwanda during the recent decades. Indeed, forest resources have been under increasingly severe stress, due to high population growth, resettlement of displaced persons, related demands for agricultural land, firewood and other forest related products. Due to a high population density and high population growth, it is becoming harder and harder to meet the needs for settlement, agricultural and other economic activities hence even more difficult for afforestation land availability. In this paper we propose some areas that could be afforested or reforested in order to increase area of conservation of biodiversity in Rwanda and to comply with ITTO/IUCN guidelines of conservation areas protection and degraded area rehabilitation. We used high definition aerial images and applied Geographic Information System (GIS) to study the availability of potential land area that are likely suitable for new forest plantations. The criteria of area selection were most inconvenient land for human settlement and most inconvenient agricultural land. The results have shown that 15.14% of total country area has a slope over 30%. Among the land areas with a slope over 30%, forested land areas occupy 5.25%. According to the results a total land area equivalent to 9.89% is available for forest plantations. This research will help to identify new and suitable land area for forest plantation and it will be useful for policy-makers in Rwanda. The government should encourage the plantation of forests in new identified areas by facilitating farmers to change their land use and discouraging other activities carried out in the identified available land areas.
Keywords
Land Use, Afforestation, Forest Restoration, Forest Site Selection
To cite this article
Aline Umutoni, Wukui Wang, Using ArcGIS to Analyze Land Availability for Rwanda’s Forest Area Expansion, American Journal of Environmental and Resource Economics. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2018, pp. 31-39. doi: 10.11648/j.ajere.20180303.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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