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Population, conservation, and land use change in HondurasAuthor(s): Max J. Pfeffer; John W. Schlelhas; Stephen D. DeGloria; Jorge Gomez
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 110: 14-28
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThis paper examines the role of population density on land use allocation and change. We are especially interested in the management of fallow areas that have come under increasing pressure given restrictions imposed by the creation of protected areas like national parks. It is argued that these restrictions to reduce deforestation create a relative scarcity of land, and applies insights about the management of fallows from Boserup's classic work on agricultural intensification and population growth. This paper examines land use in the Cerro Azul Meambar National Park in Honduras. Land use allocation is evaluated using data from a social survey of 600 farms in the Park's buffer zone, and land use classifications based on Landsat satellite images. Change in land use is analyzed by comparing satellite image-based land use classifications in 1993 and 1999. The analysis indicates that differences in population density are an important factor in explaining land use allocation and change. Whether in areas of high population density or low, fallow areas are reduced when land is scarcer. In areas of low population density, reforestation efforts associated with Park management lead to the displacement of fallows. In areas of high population density fallows give way to more intensive land uses.
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CitationPfeffer, Max J.; Schlelhas, John W.; DeGloria, Stephen D.; Gomez, Jorge. 2005. Population, conservation, and land use change in Honduras. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 110: 14-28
KeywordsLand use allocation, fallow management, forest conservation, agricultural intensification
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