Thyolo is a town located in the Southern Region of Malawi. It is the administrative capital of Thyolo District. Traditional Authority Mphuka in Thyolo District is one of the 10 Traditional Authorities in Thyolo District in Malawi.There are a number of non sustainable activities that communities in the area do that are detrimental to development.
Malawi being an agricultural based economy production is dependent on natural resources whose availability and stability cannot be guaranteed in the area. Livelihoods are affected by non sustainable practices such as wanton cutting down of trees, shifting cultivation, and poor agricultural practices. The drivers of deforestation and soil erosion are interrelated with growing human population, increased demand of firewood and limited job opportunities being the main ones. The State of Environment Report of 2000 for the district identified five pressing environmental issues for the district and these included: overpopulation, encroachment in water catchment areas, poor public place sanitation, declining fish catch from natural water bodies and loss of biodiversity. One other thing that has exacerbated the social economic status of the people in this district is the introduction of tea estates a long time ago which took almost all cultivatable land away from the inhabitants leaving them only with casual labouring in the estates as an alternative for survival. The estates do little, if not nothing, for the lives of these vulnerable people.
Thyolo District is located in southern region of Malawi on the Shire highlands. It borders Mulanje to the east, Blantyre to north, and Nsanje to the south. Thyolo receives an average total rainfall of 1,125 mm (44 in) per year. The terrain in Thyolo District is transverse. The climate is dry and with savanna type of vegetation. Generally the area terrain is sloppy surrounded by mountains and rivers/streams. The soil is roam clay and some parts are rocky. TA Mphuka is about 40 kilometres from Thyolo District Council (60 km from Luchenza). The road network is relatively good but the quality of the roads is poor. This is compounded by the undulating nature of the plain that is characterised by steep descents and the rocky formation of the road surface.
|Climate data for Thyolo (1961–1990)|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||22.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||18.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||225.7|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.3 mm)||18||16||17||11||7||7||6||4||2||5||10||16||119|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82||84||84||81||77||78||77||69||59||62||68||80||75|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||189.1||173.6||195.3||210.0||232.5||207.0||217.0||260.4||264.0||266.6||231.0||176.7||2,623.2|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||6.1||6.2||6.3||7.0||7.5||6.9||7.0||8.4||8.8||8.6||7.7||5.7||7.2|
There are 39 villages in TA Mphuka. These villages fall under 5 Group Village Headmen (GVH) also known as Village Development Committees (VDC) and 1 sub VDC.Average household size is 4.2. There is an approximate total population of 63,710 in 15,071 households in scattered nuclear settlements. The majority of the people are Amang’anja and partly Alomwe tribes.
Severe and widespread environmental degradation is taking place in TA Mphuka and surrounding areas.The main root cause of environmental degradation in the area is poverty coupled with dwindling crop production due to scarcity of land for agricultural activities. This problem has forced the local communities to encroach the forest reserve and cultivate in the buffer zone of the rivers and streams.
The deforestation has resulted to siltation on the rivers hence reducing the quantity of water in the rivers. The quarterly flows measures being undertaken by Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development in conjunction with Thyolo District Council through District Coordination Team (DCT) quarterly flow measure report of October to December 2010 revealed that flows are declining. The depletion of natural resources at Mphuka is causing a series of problems which include; poor quality of water supply hence high incidences of water borne diseases within the area and loss of biodiversity.
There are cultivations in the river beds and banks which are detrimental to biodiversity. The practice accelerates siltation and the rivers will eventually dry up. It is feared that if pragmatic measures are not put in place to address this problem, it can become worse.
The major causes of this environmental degradation include poverty and high population growth. Some of the notable environmental problems in Mphuka include:
In addition, deforestation and agricultural expansion taking place in Mphuka due to population growth has lowered the water table of the entire Mphuka Area. Besides poverty and low crop production, it appears that general lack of environmental education and communication has also compounded the spread of environmental degradation. It was envisaged that many people think that nature takes care of itself hence no need for local communities to conserve environment. It is therefore believed that local communities' needs, assets, interests, and aspirations are taken into account, and there is need to promote and yield substantial and long lasting solutions to nature conservation in the area for the benefit of the present and future generations.
Deforestation or forest clearance is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use. The most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests. About 31% of Earth's land surface is covered by forests at present. This is one-third less than the forest cover before the expansion of agriculture, a half of that loss occurring in the last century. Between 15 million to 18 million hectares of forest, an area the size of Belgium, are destroyed every year. On average 2,400 trees are cut down each minute. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines deforestation as the conversion of forest to other land uses. "Deforestation" and "forest area net change" are not the same: the latter is the sum of all forest losses (deforestation) and all forest gains in a given period. Net change, therefore, can be positive or negative, depending on whether gains exceed losses, or vice versa. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and aridity. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations, as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record. Deforestation also reduces biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing negative feedback cycles contributing to global warming. Global warming also puts increased pressure on communities who seek food security by clearing forests for agricultural use and reducing arable land more generally. Deforested regions typically incur significant other environmental effects such as adverse soil erosion and degradation into wasteland.
Desertification is a type of land degradation in drylands in which biological productivity is lost due to natural processes or induced by human activities whereby fertile areas become increasingly arid. It is the spread of arid areas caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change and overexploitation of soil as a result of human activity.
This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.
Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as quality of air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution. It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.
Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires.
Land development is altering the landscape in any number of ways such as:
Environmentally, Colombia is a mega-diverse country from its natural land terrain to its biological wildlife. Its biodiversity is a result of its geographical location and elevation. It is the fourth largest South American country and only country in South America to have coasts on the Pacific and Caribbean Sea. Colombia's terrain can be divided into six main natural zones: The Caribbean, the Pacific, The Orinoco region, The Amazonia region, the Andean region, and the Insular region. 52.2% of the environment is predominately the Andes, Amazon, and Pacific Basins, followed by the Orinoco basin 13.9%, the Andes and the Caribbean. The Tropical Andes, Choco, and the Caribbean are considered biodiversity hotspots which puts these areas at high risk of concentration of colonizing activities. Colombia hosts over 1800 species and at least one new species is detected every year. Decades of civil war and political unrest has impeded biological and environmental research in Colombia. The political unrest in Colombia catalyzes the alteration of land patterns through the cultivation of coca and opium crops, the redirection of extractive activities, and land abandonment in some areas.
Environmental issues in Haiti include a historical deforestation problem, overpopulation, a lack of sanitation, natural disasters, and food insecurity. The major reasons for these environmental issues are corruption and human exploitation, and the embezzlement of taxpayers' funds for personal gains. In addition, there is not sufficient protection or management of the country's natural resources. Other environmental issues, such as decreases in precipitation and more severe natural disasters, will likely arise in Haiti as a result of climate change. Experts agree that Haiti needs to adopt new policies to address both the issues that already exist and to prepare for the effects of climate change.
African environmental issues are caused by anthropogenic effects on the African natural environment and have major impacts on humans and nearly all forms of endemic life. Issues include for example deforestation, soil degradation, air pollution, climate change and water scarcity. Nearly all of Africa's environmental problems are geographically variable and human induced.
Deforestation during the Roman period was a result of the geographical expansion of the Roman Empire, with its increased population, large-scale agriculture, and unprecedented economic development. Roman expansion marks the transition in the Mediterranean from prehistory to the historical period beginning around 500 BC. Earth sustained a few million people 8,000 years ago and was still fundamentally pristine, but Rome drove human development in Western Europe and was a leading contributor of the deforestation around the Mediterranean.
Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) is a low-cost, sustainable land restoration technique used to combat poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers in developing countries by increasing food and timber production, and resilience to climate extremes. It involves the systematic regeneration and management of trees and shrubs from tree stumps, roots and seeds.
In ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly. Such perturbations and disturbances can include stochastic events such as fires, flooding, windstorms, insect population explosions, and human activities such as deforestation, fracking of the ground for oil extraction, pesticide sprayed in soil, and the introduction of exotic plant or animal species. Disturbances of sufficient magnitude or duration can profoundly affect an ecosystem and may force an ecosystem to reach a threshold beyond which a different regime of processes and structures predominates. When such thresholds are associated with a critical or bifurcation point, these regime shifts may also be referred to as critical transitions.
In 2005, Nigeria had the highest rate of deforestation in the world according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Nigeria has biodiversity in abundance which makes it thrive well. In 1950s, large areas of land were reserved as a protected area but unfortunately they no longer exist. Biodiversity has been greatly destroyed by deforestation, degradation, encroachment and conversion of land into other uses due to the increase in demand of the fast rising population in the country.
Deforestation is one of the most serious environmental issues in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka current forest cover as at 2017 was 29.7%. In the 1920s, the island had a 49 percent forest cover but by 2005 this had fallen by approximately 26 percent. Between 1990 and 2000, Sri Lanka lost an average of 26,800 ha of forests per year. This amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 1.14%. Between 2000 and 2005 the rate accelerated to 1.43% per annum. However, with a long history of policy and laws towards environmental protection, deforestation rates of primary cover have actually decreased 35% since the end of the 1990s thanks to a strong history of conservation measures. The problem of deforestation in Sri Lanka is not as significant in the southern mountainous regions as it is in northern and lowland southern Sri Lanka, largely due to the nature of environmental protection.
The environmental impact of agriculture is the effect that different farming practices have on the ecosystems around them, and how those effects can be traced back to those practices. The environmental impact of agriculture varies widely based on practices employed by farmers and by the scale of practice. Farming communities that try to reduce environmental impacts through modifying their practices will adopt sustainable agriculture practices. The negative impact of agriculture is an old issue that remains a concern even as experts design innovative means to reduce destruction and enhance eco-efficiency. Though some pastoralism is environmentally positive, modern animal agriculture practices tend to be more environmentally destructive than agricultural practices focused on fruits, vegetables and other biomass. The emissions of ammonia from cattle waste continues to raise concerns over environmental pollution.
Deforestation in Madagascar is an ongoing environmental issue. Deforestation creates agricultural or pastoral land but can also result in desertification, water resource degradation, biodiversity erosion and habitat loss, and soil loss.
Rudrasagar Lake, also known as Twijilikma, is a lake located in Melaghar, Tripura, India.
Deforestation is a primary contributor to climate change. Land use changes, especially in the form of deforestation, are the second largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, after fossil fuel combustion. Greenhouse gases are emitted during combustion of forest biomass and decomposition of remaining plant material and soil carbon. Global models and national greenhouse gas inventories give similar results for deforestation emissions. As of 2019, deforestation is responsible for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Peatland degradation also emits GHG. Growing forests are a carbon sink with additional potential to mitigate the effects of climate change. Some of the effects of climate change, such as more wildfires, may increase deforestation. Deforestation comes in many forms: wildfire, agricultural clearcutting, livestock ranching, and logging for timber, among others. The vast majority of agricultural activity resulting in deforestation is subsidized by government tax revenue. Forests cover 31% of the land area on Earth and annually 75,700 square kilometers of the forest is lost. Mass deforestation continues to threaten tropical forests, their biodiversity, and the ecosystem services they provide. The main area of concern of deforestation is in tropical rain forests since they are home to the majority of the planet's biodiversity.
Laos is increasingly suffering from environmental problems, with deforestation a particularly significant issue, as expanding commercial exploitation of the forests, plans for additional hydroelectric facilities, foreign demand for wild animals and nonwood forest products for food and traditional medicines, and a growing population all create increasing pressure.
Sustainable Development Goal 15 is about "Life on land." One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015, the official wording is: "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss". The Goal has 12 targets to be achieved by 2030. Progress towards targets will be measured by 14 indicators.