University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Sustainable Land Use around Nyungwe National Forest Reserve

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

We looked at sustainable land use options around a national forest in Rwanda, which would help local land users but also preserve the rich biodiversity of the region. Many local stakeholders rely heavily on resources from the forest and this compromises many ecosystem services and puts pressure on conservation efforts. First I began with a literature review of sustainable land use practices, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), and developed a background on the area. Then focus groups were held to determine important factors of sustainable land use in this area. After collecting this information from extension agents and scientists, who were familiar with the Nyungwe, AHP was used to have the participants make pairwise comparisons between different factors they had come up with. The three major categories were improved ecosystem services, improved livelihoods, and increased land productivity. Then using this information and AHP Decision (a computer program) I was able to interpret the survey results and rank the importance of each factor within a category and then rank the categories as a whole to each other and eventually could give each factor a global priority value making them all comparable to each other. After finding the final rankings I was able to analyze what factors extension agents and scientist felt were most important and make suggestions on areas to focus energy and resources to provide the most benefit. I found that improved livelihoods were determined to be the most important specifically high net return to landowner and increased fodder and crop production. These were followed by food security and soil fertility. The sustainable land use practices which focus on helping local people feed and maintain themselves is important and would also address issues with conservation in the forest.

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Sustainable Land Use around Nyungwe National Forest Reserve

We looked at sustainable land use options around a national forest in Rwanda, which would help local land users but also preserve the rich biodiversity of the region. Many local stakeholders rely heavily on resources from the forest and this compromises many ecosystem services and puts pressure on conservation efforts. First I began with a literature review of sustainable land use practices, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), and developed a background on the area. Then focus groups were held to determine important factors of sustainable land use in this area. After collecting this information from extension agents and scientists, who were familiar with the Nyungwe, AHP was used to have the participants make pairwise comparisons between different factors they had come up with. The three major categories were improved ecosystem services, improved livelihoods, and increased land productivity. Then using this information and AHP Decision (a computer program) I was able to interpret the survey results and rank the importance of each factor within a category and then rank the categories as a whole to each other and eventually could give each factor a global priority value making them all comparable to each other. After finding the final rankings I was able to analyze what factors extension agents and scientist felt were most important and make suggestions on areas to focus energy and resources to provide the most benefit. I found that improved livelihoods were determined to be the most important specifically high net return to landowner and increased fodder and crop production. These were followed by food security and soil fertility. The sustainable land use practices which focus on helping local people feed and maintain themselves is important and would also address issues with conservation in the forest.