The Effects of Deforestation in Mlola Forest Reserves, Mafia District, Tanzania
Keywords:Charcoal, Deforestation, Firewood, Mlola Forest Reserve, Timber
AbstractThis paper focused on the assessment of the effects of deforestation in Mlola Forest Reserve in Mafia District in Coast Region. It identified socio-economic activities conducted in Mlola Forest Reserve, examined effects of deforestation in Mlola Forest Reserve and measures taken against deforestation in the study area. Mlola Forest Reserve was used as a case study in the Cost Region. Data were collected using questionnaires and interviews from a sample size of 30 respondents composed of 47% males; and 53% females. Focus Group Discussions and field visits were also used in data collection. The results revealed that socio-economic activities contributed highly to the deforestation of Mlola Forest Reserve. Results showed that, 53% of the respondents were engaged in charcoal making and selling; while 30% and 17% depended on the forest for firewood and timber respectively. About 90% of the respondents revealed that deforestation leads to climate change or global warming. Moreover, 83% and 70% of the respondents revealed that, deforestation leads to habitat fragmentation and increased soil erosion, respectively. The study concluded that human activities contributed highly to forest destruction. It recommended that, awareness rising on tree planting should be promoted, encouraged alternative energy use, adhere to land use planning and Participatory Forest Management. Likewise, the policy and regulations should be enforced to reduce illegal deforestation activities.