Forests are important for the well-being of people. They played a diverse role in improving livelihoods of local people at village area. Forests are important as homes of wildlife habitat, tourism, sources of food, rainfall and water, medicines, spiritual needs, better place carbon storage. Existing political and socio-economic practices such as over-cultivation, over-grazing and rapid population growth; extreme climatic conditions; poor policies and legislation are among of the root causes of forest cover change. Current adaptation measures and strategies are not appropriate enough to support communities’ proximity to forest land. There is a variations on community livelihoods adaptation measures and strategies. The variation comes from the nature of their social, economic, political and cultural attributes. Generally the study aimed at assessing the forest cover change and community livelihoods adaptations. The study has further aimed at examining the nature and characteristics of socio-economic, ecological and political drivers that have influenced forest cover change. I used structured and unstructured interview guide to get the views, perception and knowledge on causes of forest cover changes in order to arrive into better management practices and strategies. The study also aimed at determining the extent and rate of forest cover change from 1987, 2001 to 2015 in order to categorize the main types of forest cover change in terms of cover gains and losses. Geographic Information System (GIS) was applied to determine trends and extent of forest cover change through Landsat imagery analysis. Using questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion and Field observations community livelihoods adaptation measures to the specific forest cover change type in the study area were determined. The study was guided by the following questions (i) what are the specific nature and characteristics of socio-economic, ecological and political drivers that have influenced forest cover change in the study area? (ii) What is the extent and rate of forest cover change in the period between 1987, 2001; and 2015 in the study area? (iii) How the community adapts towards the gain or losses of forest cover change in study area?
Progress to date:
1. The reconnaissance survey was conducted to reinforce the information on the proposal.
2. The PhD proposal was presented and accepted for fieldwork data collection by the University of Dar es Salaam.
3. Preliminary and actual data collection phase one and two were conducted well.
4. Data analysis, interpretation and thesis writing is the stage which I am still going on.