Reforestation efforts and sustainable land use practices in various land cover types of Southern Malawi

Authors: Louise Lindegaard*, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Topics: Energy, Natural Resources, Africa
Keywords: Reforestation, Land Use Land Cover Change, Energy Poverty, Energy Access
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Biomass is the primary source of fuel for people living in rural areas in southern Malawi. Fuelwood, charcoal, and crop residues are all commonly used biomass materials in this area, with fuelwood being the primary fuel for the majority of families. This extended use of fuelwood and charcoal requires a forest source, which leads to deforestation at an accelerated rate. This study will attempt to provide a better understanding into the factors that influence decisions to replenish fuelwood resources via reforestation or conservation efforts. The land use of several districts will be categorized by deforestation rates and current forest cover levels. The primary methodology of this study will be using a household interview on daily activity and fuel use in low income households in Southern Malawi. Interview answers will provide insight into the perception of fuelwood collection, and the varying use of biomass throughout the seasons and in different surrounding environments. The hypothesis for this study is that communities with higher deforestation rates may be more inclined to attempt reforestation processes and practice more sustainable use of the fuelwood. The results include various demographic and descriptive factors about households that may be used as predictors for sustainable practices. These results will be extremely helpful for future intervention efforts and a greater understanding of the way people are interacting with their surrounding environment in Southern Malawi.

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