Seeing deforestation in Zambia - On the discrepancy between biophysical land-use changes and social perception


Zambia has been losing about 250,000 ha of forest annually. The actors said to be responsible for this trend include charcoal producers and shifting cultivators. This widely shared understanding is fl awed, however, and instead refl ects a Zambian way of ‘seeing deforestation’, which is introduced in this paper. This paper shows, through the combination of ethnography and remote sensing, that deforestation detected from afar does not necessarily refl ect local perceptions, a phenomenon that has fundamental implications for the way forest loss is addressed in Zambia.

Biodiversity & Ecology 6 - Climate change and adaptive landmanagement in southern Africa - assessments, changes, challenges, and solutions