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Biofuel potential and land availability: The case of Rufiji District, Tanzania
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3388-2965
2014 (English)In: Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment, ISSN 2006-9847, E-ISSN 2006-9847, Vol. 6, no 11, 389-397 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Africa’s attractiveness to potential biofuel investors is based on the assumption that there is plenty of unused land available for investment in different countries of the continent. However, their postulations are not based on any concrete studies about land availability at country, regional or local level. This study investigates land availability for potential biofuel investment at the local level, using Rufiji district in Tanzania as a case study. We have analyzed different land cover/land use types and separated them into areas of potential biofuel investment and areas where biofuel investment is not possible by a process of elimination. The results suggest that land availability is inadequate to meet the needs of biofuel investors. The land assumed to be unused or underutilized by biofuel investors is either part of the fallow system or used to harvest natural resources and for other traditional uses. Expropriating the assumed idle land will adversely impact on the livelihoods of the local communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 6, no 11, 389-397 p.
Keyword [en]
Biofuel investment, Land available, Rufiji District
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114177OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-114177DiVA: diva2:790192
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2015-02-23 Created: 2015-02-23 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Causes and Perceptions of Environmental Change in the Mangroves of Rufiji Delta, Tanzania: Implications for Sustainable Livelihood and Conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Causes and Perceptions of Environmental Change in the Mangroves of Rufiji Delta, Tanzania: Implications for Sustainable Livelihood and Conservation
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mangroves are ecosystems with enormous ecological importance, supporting both terrestrial and marine food webs. They provide ecosystem services (e.g. food, medicines, fuel, constructing material) to communities near and far. Despite their importance, mangrove areas are facing numerous threats. Based on neo-Malthusian narratives, population growth is an alleged main cause of mangrove degradation, especially in developing countries. This thesis investigates the Rufiji Delta mangroves, from several perspectives including: recent history, present condition, use of land and other resources, as well as actual and potential impacts of government policies and management on mangrove conservation and for the local communities. Of special interest is the examination of multiple, and often diverging, perceptions concerning these variables and processes. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used. Interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders. Analysis of census data (1957–2012), to ascertain population trends in the Delta, spans the pre- and post-Ujamaa villagization programme. Old maps were scanned and geo-referenced in GIS to compare administrative units between successive censuses. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery, spanning from 1994 to 2010, was explored for analysis of mangrove dynamics and stand structure. The analysis of population trends in the Delta revealed decreasing population in the South Delta and a low population increase in the North Delta, in comparison with neighbouring non-delta areas. This is contrary to the assumption by government authorities that the Ujamaa villagization programme instigated migration to the Delta which caused mangrove degradation. Spatio-temporal changes in mangrove area and land use, observed and confirmed by SAR imagery and field control, is part of the highly dynamic eco-hydrology and geomorphology of the delta ecosystem. While some areas have been converted to rice farms, other areas have gained in mangrove coverage. Overexploitation of mangroves occurs, primarily by external actors, and both local communities and representatives of government authorities ascribe this to lack of financial and human resources to enforce current laws and regulations. Ever since the Rufiji mangrove forest was declared as a forest reserve in 1898, it has been a legal quagmire, with legally established village land within a state forest where human habitation is prohibited by law. This thesis explores management approaches that will embrace conservation with sustainable development. That can only be achieved when local communities are legally recognized as inhabitants and important stakeholders in the conservation of the Delta. A conservation approach that removes land tenure uncertainty among the local communities and takes into consideration the dynamic nature of the Delta must be devised for the Rufiji mangroves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 2016. 39 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 54
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128074 (URN)978-91-7649-389-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-13, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-04-20 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2017-02-23Bibliographically approved

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