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Open AccessArticle

Local Perception of Drivers of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Dynamics across Dedza District, Central Malawi Region

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Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
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South African Weather Service (SAWS), Private Bag X097, Pretoria 001, South Africa
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School for Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
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School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
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Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, 13 Jackson Kaujeua Street, Private Bag 13388, Windhoek 9000, Namibia
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Department of Forestry, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bunda Campus, P.O Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi
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Department of Geography, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 220005, Nigeria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030832
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
Research on Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) dynamics, and an understanding of the drivers responsible for these changes, are very crucial for modelling future LULC changes and the formulation of sustainable and robust land-management strategies and policy decisions. This study adopted a mixed method consisting of remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS)-based analysis, focus-group discussions, key informant interviews, and semi-structured interviews covering 586 households to assess LULC dynamics and associated LULC change drivers across the Dedza district, a central region of Malawi. GIS-based analysis of remotely sensed data revealed that barren land and built-up areas extensively increased at the expense of agricultural and forest land between 1991 and 2015. Analysis of the household-survey results revealed that the perceptions of respondents tended to validate the observed patterns during the remotely sensed data-analysis phase of the research, with 57.3% (n = 586) of the respondents reporting a decline in agricultural land use, and 87.4% (n = 586) observing a decline in forest areas in the district. Furthermore, firewood collection, charcoal production, population growth, and poverty were identified as the key drivers of these observed LULC changes in the study area. Undoubtedly, education has emerged as a significant factor influencing respondents’ perceptions of these drivers of LULC changes. However, unsustainable LULC changes observed in this study have negative implications on rural livelihoods and natural-resource management. Owing to the critical role that LULC dynamics play to rural livelihoods and the ecosystem, this study recommends further research to establish the consequences of these changes. The present study and future research will support decision makers and planners in the design of tenable and coherent land-management strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: LULC dynamics; GIS-based analysis; LULC drivers; local perceptions; sustainable resource management; rural livelihoods LULC dynamics; GIS-based analysis; LULC drivers; local perceptions; sustainable resource management; rural livelihoods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Munthali, M.G.; Davis, N.; Adeola, A.M.; Botai, J.O.; Kamwi, J.M.; Chisale, H.L.W.; Orimoogunje, O.O.I. Local Perception of Drivers of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Dynamics across Dedza District, Central Malawi Region. Sustainability 2019, 11, 832. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030832

AMA Style

Munthali MG, Davis N, Adeola AM, Botai JO, Kamwi JM, Chisale HLW, Orimoogunje OOI. Local Perception of Drivers of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Dynamics across Dedza District, Central Malawi Region. Sustainability. 2019; 11(3):832. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030832

Chicago/Turabian Style

Munthali, Maggie G.; Davis, Nerhene; Adeola, Abiodun M.; Botai, Joel O.; Kamwi, Jonathan M.; Chisale, Harold L.W.; Orimoogunje, Oluwagbenga O.I. 2019. "Local Perception of Drivers of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Dynamics across Dedza District, Central Malawi Region" Sustainability 11, no. 3: 832. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030832

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