Mapping Natural Resource Collection Areas from Household Survey Data in Southern Africa

Authors: Joel Hartter*, University of Colorado, Karen M Bailey, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, Michael Drake, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, Jonathan Salerno, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Lin Cassidy, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Andrea Gaughan, Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville, Forrest R Stevens, Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville, Narcisa G Pricope, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Africa, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Resource Mapping, Transfrontier Conservation Area, Southern Africa, Fuelwood, Participatory Mapping, Human Livelihoods
Session Type: Paper
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As conservation landscapes globally are facing enormous pressure to provide for human livelihoods, there is a growing need to understand relationships between human livelihoods and environmental processes. This often involves integrating multiple data sources capturing different scales of measurement. Participatory methods have emerged as a means to accomplish this, but are hampered by a wide range of challenges associated with data collection and translation. Here, we present a novel methodology for mapping human use of natural resources that overcomes many of the difficulties faced in participatory mapping. Based in the world’s largest terrestrial transfrontier conservation area, we couple household surveys with in-situ fine-scale mapping to identify key resource areas that support local livelihoods. This allows for a spatially referenced human use 'footprint' that can be combined with remotely-sensed data measuring environment impact. This methodology is applicable across contexts and has implications for landscape management and conservation.

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