An assessment of the application of participatory Geographical Information System for Forest Management

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University of Dar es Salaam
The main purpose of the study was to assess the application of PGIS on sustainable forest management, the case of Rwako forest in Bwanjai district, Kagera Region, Tanzania. The study was conducted on three villages namely Buhekera, Nyabiokwe and Buhangaruti. The research methods employed in this study were participatory mapping, focus group discussions and observation. A total of 111 heads of households obtained through the use of systematic random sampling were interviewed and the focus group discussion of 10 people was conducted. Data analysis was done through the use of different software including Google earth pro, SPSS, QGIS and Arc Map. The key findings showed that the application of Participatory Geographical Information Systems was very useful because firstly, it created a sense of legitimacy and participation as the methodology allowed the local people to share knowledge of the area, enabling them to learn from each other, Secondly, the methodology empowered the locals as they visualized and monitored the forest, Thirdly, the methodology showed respect for local people spatial knowledge. The study found out that there was increase in animal keeping in the forest as the land which was used to keep animals has been planted with pine tree, this made pastoralist worry about the future of their livestock. The study revealed that there was no village land use planning, the issue which caused conflicts among locals and endangered the forest existence. Also there was an increase of cultivation activities in the forest which decreased the forest density. This study produced different hotspot map which showed different activities conducted in the forest as well as the drivers to forest change. The five hotspots dealing with cultivation were identified and cultivation was more dominant in Buhekera village in the central part of Rwako forest, also six hotspot on livestock keeping were identified, the activities was done in Buhekera, in the central and southern part of Rwako forest. It thus recommended that more research needs to be carried out to assess the importance of mapping the land uses towards resolving conflicts.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF SD387.3.T34V34)
Forest and forestry, Forest management, Forestry community, Forest forecasting
Valentine, E (2018) An assessment of the application of participatory Geographical Information System for Forest Management, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.