Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 167–179 | Cite as

Socio-economic drivers of deforestation in Roghani Valley, Hindu-Raj Mountains, Northern Pakistan

  • Fazlur Rahman
  • Fazlul Haq
  • Iffat Tabassum
  • Ihsan Ullah
Article

Abstract

Deforestation and associated ecological disturbances are the issues of global concern. Researchers have investigated a number of driving forces which accelerate the rate of deforestation at local and regional levels. These include poverty, population growth, market demand and prices, political instability, agricultural expansion and changes in property right and ownership regimes. This paper seeks to explore the impacts of population growth, changing tenure system and other socioeconomic factors on the forest cover of Roghani Valley, located in Hindu Raj Mountains, Northern Pakistan. The present study is mainly based on information collected through participatory observation, self-administered interviews and questionnaire survey. Geographical Information System (GIS) database is also used for mapping and quantification. The results reveal that in the past three to four decades the study area has been subjected to severe deforestation and about half of the forest area has been converted into barren land. Thus, the area under natural forests decreased from 2099 to 1444 hectares in four decades. This large-scale deforestation is attributed to both proximate and under lying causes particularly traditional land tenure system and demographic development. Consequently, forest resources have been degraded and a number of plant species have disappeared from the forests of the study area while several others are in the process of disappearance.

Keywords

Deforestation Natural Vegetation Cover Population Growth Traditional Tenure Systems Land Use and Land Cover Change Household Dynamics 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fazlur Rahman
    • 1
  • Fazlul Haq
    • 1
  • Iffat Tabassum
    • 1
  • Ihsan Ullah
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUrban & Regional Planning University of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan

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