Population, Development and Deforestation in Songea District, Tanzania


Deforestation is a phenomenon that forms part of environmental degradation. The fact that deforestation is both a source and contributor to global warming, as it reduces the carbon sinks, cannot be contested [1]. A case study research was carried out in Songea Tanzania aimed at establishing whether there was differential participation of people of different demographic characteristics in those activities that lead into tree cover decline. The study revealed that people of different age group and, sex categories played different roles in activities that lead to deforestation such as felling trees for firewood and felling trees for establishing and/or for expanding farms. It was observed that age group and sex categories influenced one’s involvement or participation in deforestation thus contributing differently by both activity and degree of forest cover reduction. This literally means that people of different demographic characteristics of age and sex contributed differently to the ailing deforestation process. From this end, it is logical and implicit arguing that the identification of actors in deforestation-related activities confirms the disaggregated manner by which population acts on the environment. Development of blanket conservation packages that are not focused on age group and sex categories of members the population in question remains too general and in-effective. To be precise, the planning and implementation of effective conservation initiatives has to take into account demographic characteristics of the population in question. The observed reality is that the population engages with the environment not as a unit but in its disaggregated manner, i.e. based on its demographic sub-categories [2]. The theory behind a successful conservation initiative is based on unveiling the mechanism by which population acts when resulting to deforestation.

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M. Haule, "Population, Development and Deforestation in Songea District, Tanzania," Natural Resources, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 15-24. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.51004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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