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The major factors effecting the decrease of forest cover in the Huaphanh Province, Northern Laos

  • Alounsavath, Phayvanh (Department of Environment and Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Sebin (Department of Environment and Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Bohwi (Department of Environment and Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2017.09.05
  • Accepted : 2018.03.20
  • Published : 2019.06.01

Abstract

The forest of the Huaphanh Province (HP) has continued to decrease at 0.6% (10,560 ha) per year from 1992 to 2010. In the past few decades, the government of Laos and the Huaphanh Provincial Authority have been trying to address the root causes of deforestation. This study attempts to examine the factors effecting the decrease of the forest cover in the HP by analyzing the influence of the local socio-economic development and implementation of forest management policies on changes in the forest cover. The social data of the province focused on population growth and distribution between urban and rural areas including the number of poor people and the economic growth of three sectors, namely agriculture and forestry, industry, and service, while the implementation of the state forest management policy focused on the state forest management plan, tree plantation, forest land use planning and allocation to households, and shifting cultivation including annual upland rice and maize cultivation. In addition, government reports on socio-economic and rural development including poverty eradication of other provinces, where an increase in the forest cover was observed, were also collected and analyzed using qualitative and comparative analysis. The results from this study indicate that the decrease in forest cover in the Huaphanh Province appears to depend on a very slow economic growth and reduction in rural poverty of the province. The increase in the rural population in the province led to an increase in farm households and are as for shifting cultivation. As a result, forests were cleared leading to a decrease in the forest cover.

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Fig. 1. Land-use changes in Huaphanh Province from 1982 to 2010.

Table 1. Forestry, agriculture, socio-economic data and sources.

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Table 2. Change in rural population in Huaphanh Province from 1997 to 2010.

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Table 3. Results of one way ANOVA of mean value (± standard deviation) of seven data categories between Huaphanh and Luang Prabang Province.

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Table 4. Results of one-way ANOVA of mean value (± standard deviation) of seven independent variables between Huaphanh and Luang Namtha Province.

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