Land Use Change and Its Impact on Local People's Livelihood: A Case Study in Mountain Popa Area of Central Myanmar

Author(s): Thiri Hmwe Maung, Rajendra P. Shrestha, Said Qasim

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Abstract: This study was conducted to explore changes in land use and its impact on rural livelihoods in mountain Popa area of central Myanmar. Industrialization and land modification by the rural households have brought changes in land use of the study area. Results revealed that the percentage of forest area and water bodies were significantly decreased but the agricultural land area increased from 2008 to 2014. Land use change was detected by using Landsat ETM images. Both positive and negative effects of land use changes were found on the local people. Industrialization created job opportunities for the local people and increased accessibility and physical assets but the natural assets and financial assets of local people significantly decreased for the study period. Agroforestry was found to increase the social and natural assets of the local people. The challenges to improve the local people livelihood included lack of adequate capital, lack of trainings and inadequate technical support. The study recommends that the land use policy should consider local people's indigenous rights to balance the development initiatives of the government.

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