Forest cover changes and forest management approaches in Kalulu forest reserve no. 32, Kabwe district.

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Mundende, Mwenya
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The University of Zambia
Zambia's forest resources have been disappearing at an alarming rate. This study reports on forest cover changes and forest management approaches in state-owned forests; a case of Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32 in Kabwe District, in Central Province. Data was collected through questionnaire survey (83) respondents, key informant interviews, Landsat satellite images for 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, and field observations. The questionnaire survey were analysed using some measures of central tendencies that is the mean and mode and content analysis for the qualitative data. The interview data were analysed using content and thematic analysis, while the satellite imagery was analysed using the supervised classification and post-classification (thematic) change detection. The results show that, 85 percent of the respondents believe that there has been forest cover loss between 2000 and 2015 attributed to an influx in the population of the squatters. Almost all (98 percent) of the respondents had adopted agricultural based livelihoods which entailed forest clearance. More than half (58 percent) of the respondents believed that land was accessible in the forest through allocations by the chief or village headmen. Time lapse satellite imagery showed that there was a reduction in the closed, open vegetation and wetlands by 79 percent, 49 percent and 65 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2015. There was an increase in cropfield, bareland/settlement and grassland by 78 percent, 55 percent and 17 percent, respectively, during the same period. The study results suggest that the loss of forest cover could be attributed to a weak institutional framework in that, only 14 percent of the respondents acknowledged that the Forest Department managed the forest reserve while 97 percent of them considered the forest and all its resources being accessible through traditional leaders and political office bearers. Conversely, Forestry Department officials reported being stopped from enforcing their mandate to remove squatters from the forest by political leaders. This suggests conflicts in management of the forest reserve among stakeholders. The study also revealed that 87 percent of the respondents admitted were not aware of any sensitization programmes on forest by the Forestry Department despite the latter’s claim of running such programmes. This study concludes there had been forest cover loss between 2000 and 2005 in Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32. This was coupled with ineffective forest management approaches used in Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32 as was the perception of stakeholders in Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32. The study further concludes that there was no existing link between the Forestry Department and the squatters of Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32. The study concludes that there that in order protect forest reserves like Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32, as well as meet the needs of the local people, there is need to establish a robust institutional framework with a strong political will that will ensure sustainable management of state owned forest reserves. The study recommends that there should be more coherence and collaborations created among Forestry Department, political and traditional leaders as well as any other stakeholders in the forest. Additionally, the central government needs to increase budgetary allocations to enhance sensitization campaigns of good forest management in Kalulu Forest Reserve No. 32.
Thesis of Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental and Natural Resources Management.