African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Demographic pressure impacts on forests in Rwanda

Gabriel Habiyaremye1,2, Ge Jiwen1*, Jean de la Paix Mupenzi1,4 and Waheed O. Balogun3
1Hubei Key Laboratory of Wetland Evolution and Ecological Restoration, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China. 2Independent Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali (INILAK), Department of rural development, Rwanda. 3School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China. 4Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Science, 818 Beijing Road South, Urumqi, Xinjiang, 830011, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 May 2011
  •  Published: 19 September 2011

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of deforestation and its associated consequences as a result of demographic pressure in Rwanda. It came out that demographic pressure led to forest clearance and  biodiversity disturbances in general, thereby leading to climate change. Using over 30 and 80 years of climatic variables and demographic data respectively, the analysis of the output of ORIGIN PRO 8.0 showed that the population has increased 4 times in the period of 80 years and this in turn has affected the environment. The forest ecosystems, which occupied 30% of the total surface of the country in 1930  has been reduced to 8.9%  as by the year 2000. This severe loss of forests has remarkably led to more than 90% decline of fauna species in Akagera National Park. The analysis of  deforestation has revealed some associated consequences on regulating services where a monthly increase of 0.5°C and a monthly decrease of 10 mm in rainfall has been remarked in the study period of 1970 to 2010. Finally, this study suggests the State to put in place tight mechanisms to control the population growth for the attainment of sustainable environmental development and reinforce management of ecosystems so as to inherit an enjoyable and productive environment to the future generations.

 

Key words: Deforestation, demographic pressure, climate change, Rwanda.