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Land Use and Landscape Dynamics in Northern Thailand: Assessing Change in Three Upland Watersheds Since 1954

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Fox, Jefferson; Krummel, John; Yarnasarn, Sanay; Ekasingh, Methi; Podger, Nancy
Date: 1994
Agency: East-West Center, Honolulu, HI
Series: Program on Environment Working Paper
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3702
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Land Tenure & Use
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): land tenure and use
Abstract: "The forests of Southeast Asia contain biologically diverse communities of vegetation and wildlife. These lands also support millions of tribal people who produce food and fiber for local and regional consumption. Today, traditional uses of forestland are being transformed by national market forces and changing national policies of landownership and land use. While tropical forest loss is recognized as a regional and global problem, little is known about the link between resource use at the local level and its effects on forest fragmentation and loss at the landscape scale. This study analyzed human-induced loss and fragmentation of tropical forests in three upland watersheds in northern Thailand between 1954 and 1992. During this 38-year period, forest cover declined, agricultural cover increased, population and population density grew, and agriculture changed from subsistence to cash crops. These changes resulted in forest fragmentation and loss, with implications for biological and cultural diversity, sustainable resource use, and the economic conditions of the region. By linking the outcome of individual land use decisions and measures of landscape fragmentation and change, we illustrate the hierarchy of temporal and spatial events that, in summation, result in global biome changes."

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