Drivers of Deforestation in the Lake Victoria Crescent, Uganda

Type Journal Article - Journal of Sustainable Forestry
Title Drivers of Deforestation in the Lake Victoria Crescent, Uganda
Volume 34
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 259-275
We examined key drivers of deforestation in the Lake Victoria Crescent, Uganda from 1989 to 2009 through a case study approach with a multiple-case design. Nineteen focus groups with local community members and forest officials, archival analysis, and field observation revealed both proximate causes and underlying drivers of deforestation. Proximate causes of deforestation included agricultural expansion into forests, unsustainable extraction of wood forest products, and clearing of forests for nonagricultural uses. Underlying drivers of these proximate causes included policy and institutional factors, economic factors, population growth, technological changes, and changes in culture—each resulting in alienation of local people from forest resources. Alienation of local people, defined as a psychological dispossession of responsibility for forest resources, is posited as the most important underlying driver of deforestation. We discuss the importance of the involvement of local people in the management and maintenance of forests in the Lake Victoria Crescent.

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