Essay On Land Change

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Land use/ land cover changes
Land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) threatens biodiversity due to the destruction of the natural vegetation and the fragmentation of nature areas (Verburg, 2006). It is one of the main human induced activities altering the hydrological system (Calder, 1998). Land-use changes have significantly impacted on water and energy balance. The accumulative effects of these impacts have become globally significant (Turner et al., 2003). The significant land cover changes are attributed to the overutilization of land resources by humans (Bronstert et al., 2002). The land use change phenomena in developing countries has been accelerated since the industrial era which was associated with a rapid population growth (Lambin, 2001). Land-use changes are known to have an impact on the hydrology of any basin (Fohrer et al., 2001).
Research has been carried out to determine the causes and impacts of land-use changes on the surface hydrology. For instance, a study on the Pangani river basin in Tanzania, indicates that, deforestation and forest degradation are the main land-use change processes (IUCN,
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Rapid population growth has been viewed as the main cause of deforestation in Tanzania. Usambara Mountains for example, indicates 70 percent of the rain forests have been destroyed since 1954 (Shishira and Yanda, 1998). Also, tree felling for tobacco cultivation and curing is common in areas like Tabora and Songea. Encroaching forested areas for agriculture is very common in Kondoa, Iringa, and Mufindi Districts (Madulu, 1998). Slash-and-burn cultivators cause destruction of forests as well as accelerated soil erosion during rainy seasons. The demand for fuel wood, charcoal and agricultural processing has been increasing over years due to growing population thus causing further environmental

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