Ayobami A. Akanmu, Umar O. Salisu, Simeon O. Fasina and Samuel A. Okunubi
Efforts to liberate the populace, most especially rural communities, from the shackles of poverty, have been ongoing through several approaches since the independent era in Nigeria. The most recent is the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Programme (LEEMP) which is tailored to undertake projects capable of alleviating poverty. This study assessed the LEEMP projects in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State in Nigeria. Data collection methods were through a questionnaire survey and an interview. A random sampling technique was employed to sample 152 residents from the study population of 30,400 and the results were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A binary logistics regression was used to determine the influence of the LEEMP projects on the socio-economic status of residents. The findings revealed that: LEEMP projects were mostly the initiatives of both the community and LEEMP officials (72%); over 80% of the respondents observed that community involvement was mainly about land provision and the labour force, justifying over 70% active involvement of the community in the project execution and maintenance. Inferentially, the prediction model was able to classify 83% of the cases correctly, indicating that the predictors contribute significantly to prediction power of the logistic regression model (p<0.000). The Pseudo R-Square of Cox & Snell’s R-square (28%) and Nagelkerke’s R (42%) also show that the model was relevant in predicting the influence of the LEEMP projects on the residents’ socio-economic status. However, age (p=0.000), household size (p=0.019), average monthly income (p=0.033), and educational status (p=0.038) predictors best contributed to the model prediction. The study, however, recommended among others, that the LEEMP projects should be extended extensively within the country accompanied by an injection of adequate funding and a project monitoring mechanism for continuous functionality and sustainability.
Katarína Demková, Martin Hais and Magda Edwards-Jonášová
Landscape structure is determined by human activities and natural processes. Despite both influences are described in many studies, there remains still question, how the landscape structure reflects the individual socio-economic predictors. To answer this question we compared landscape structure, with emphasis on non-forest woody vegetation, of two states, however, with common socio-economic and political history. Non-forest woody vegetation represents characteristic feature in rural landscape, which increases water retention, biodiversity and bio-migration using green structures. In our study we supposed, that non-forest woody vegetation will have high sensitivity to societal changes and nature conservation measures. On an example of border region in former Czechoslovakia we compared three classes of non-forest woody vegetation (solitaires, patches and linear elements) in three time horizons (1950, 1986, 2011). The most significant differences in spatial structure of non-forest woody vegetation between countries were in the number and area of solitaires, which decreased during the entire period. However, the largest solitaire decrease was in 1950-1986, mainly in correspondence with socialist collective farming. Moreover, the decrease was higher in the Slovak part compared to the Czech part. The primary reason for this was the removal of non-forest woody vegetation on one side and the joining crowns into bigger patches on the other side. The current trend of increasing area of patch and linear elements is related to natural succession. We assume that the main drivers of different development in non-forest woody vegetation in the border region after the split of Czechoslovakia were different management measures applied in nature and landscape conservation and social development.
Olexander Zhukov, Olga Kunah, Yulia Dubinina, Yulia Zhukova and Dmytro Ganzha
The tree species composition can influence the dynamics of herbaceous species and enhance the spatial heterogeneity of the soil. But there is very little evidence on how both overstorey structure and soil properties affect the spatial variation of the herb layer. The aim of this study is to evaluate the factors of the soil and overstorey structure by which it is possible to explain the fine-scale variation of herbaceous layer communities in an Eastern European poplar-willow forest. The research was conducted in the “Dnipro-Orils’kiy” Nature Reserve (Ukraine). The research polygon (48°30′51″N, 34°49″02″E) was laid in an Eastern European poplar-willow forest in the floodplain of the River Protich, which is a left inflow of the River Dnipro. The site consists of 7 transects. Each transect was made up of 15 test points. The distance between rows in the site was 3 m. At the site, we established a plot of 45×21 m, with 105 subplots of 3×3 m organized in a regular grid. The adjacent subplots were in close proximity. Vascular plant species lists were recorded at each 3×3 m subplot along with visual estimates of species cover using the nine-degree Braun-Blanquet scale. Within the plot, all woody stems ≥ 1 cm in diameter at breast height were measured and mapped. Dixon’s segregation index was calculated for tree species to quantify their relative spatial mixing. Based on geobotanical descriptions, a phytoindicative assessment of environmental factors according to the Didukh scale was made. The redundancy analysis was used for the analysis of variance in the herbaceous layer species composition. The geographic coordinates of sampling locations were used to generate a set of orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables. Two measurements of the overstorey spatial structure were applied: the distances from the nearest tree of each species and the distance based on the evaluation of spatial density of point objects, which are separate trees. In both cases, the distance matrix of sampling locations was calculated, which provided the opportunity to generate eigenvector-based spatial variables. A kernel smoothed intensity function was used to compute the density of the trees’ spatial distribution from the point patterns’ data. Gaussian kernel functions with various bandwidths were used. The coordinates of sampling locations in the space obtained after the conversion of the trees’ spatial distribution densities were used to generate a set of orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables, each of them representing a pattern of particular scale within the extent of the bandwidth area structured according to distance and reciprocal placement of the trees. An overall test of random labelling reveals the total nonrandom distribution of the tree stems within the site. The unexplained variation consists of 43.8%. The variation explained solely by soil variables is equal to 15.5%, while the variation explained both by spatial and soil variables is 18.0%. The measure of the overstorey spatial structure, which is based on the evaluation of its density enables us to obtain different estimations depending on the bandwidth. The bandwidth affects the explanatory capacity of the tree stand. A considerable part of the plant community variation explained by soil factors was spatially structured. The orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables (dbMEMs) approach can be extended to quantifying the effect of forest structures on the herbaceous layer community. The measure of the overstorey spatial structure, which is based on the evaluation of its density, was very useful in explaining herbaceous layer community variation.
Jana Urminská, Tomáš Tóth, Renáta Benda Prokeinová and Peter Ondrišík
Soil is a sensitive ecological factor. Biodegradable materials from the environment can also be used to deal with serious ecological problems. Soil affecting by remediation medium - garden compost - was analysed for toxic cadmium (Cd) in terms of environmental protection. The objective of this research was to analyse soil and compost at foothill locality of the Tribeč Mountains (Southwestern Slovakia) in the years 2015−2017 to determine Cd contents in soil and compost, pH and to assess Cd bioavailability. The analyses were carried out using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with seven-step Selective Sequential Extraction methods. The results obtained were evaluated statistically using the SAS 9.4 software method by Spearman’s correlation coefficient. The results showed that Cd contents in soil had reached 2.96 mg kg−1 and soil with compost (the ratio 1:1) 2.71 mg kg−1 dry matter. Cd contents in the soil exceeded maximum allowed limit of 196%. And deceased by 25% after adding compost. The pH in soil with compost varied from 6.78 to 7.98. The pH prevented the mobility of Cd about 8.3% in average. Statistical dependence was high, which was demonstrated for relationship between Cd in soil, pH and compost. Available Cd forms in soil were 53.3% and soil with compost were 45% in average. The garden compost as a remediation medium reduced Cd bioavailability.
Martin Smola, Antonín Kusbach, Tadeáš Štěrba, Radim Adolt and Michal Nečas
A forest management plan based on ecological principles and forest management sustainability was elaborated for the Domogt Sharyn Gol Company, Mongolia. We presented possibility of use of principles and methods traditionally utilized in forest management planning in the Czech Republic. A used methodology was adjusted for the forestry legislature in Mongolia.
A stratification of site characteristics and the forest development type concept was used as a framework for assessment of a forest property state via an operational forest inventory. A randomly generalized network of 354 inventory plots on the total area of 3 194 ha with spacing of 300 × 300 m was established for measurements of tree species, natural regeneration and a volume of lying deadwood.
We produced a text, table, graph, figure and map material consisted of areal, tree species and wood volume structuring including calculation of decenal logging, thinning treatments, plantation activities and natural regeneration support.
This forest management plan provides a feasible perspective not only towards immediate commercial benefits but also towards sustainability of forest yield and other ecological forest functions. This way of management planning is also a save way towards mitigation of current environmental issues in a Mongolian forest landscape.
An assessment of Varuna river basin of India was performed to study the various drainage parameters in GIS platform. The delineation of drainage network is possible either physically from topographic sheets or with the help data of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) by methods for calculation techniques. Extraction of the basin and sub-basins, stream network has been produced to evaluate the drainage characteristics in the study zone. The entire Varuna river basin has been subdivided into 3 sub-watersheds and 41 morphometric parameters have been computed under four broad categories i.e. drainage network, basin geometry, drainage texture, and relief characteristics. The morphometric analysis has been performed and different parameters have been correlated with each other to understand their underlying connection and their role over the basin hydro geomorphology. The study discloses different types of morphometric analysis and how they influence the soil and topography of the basin. The investigation and estimation of basin morphometry and relief parameters in GIS will be of massive utility in catchment area advancement, understanding the watershed for natural resource evaluation, planning and administration at any scale. The outcomes thus generated equip us with significant knowledge and may also provide an input that are essential in decision making for watershed planning and drainage development of the watershed.
Aneesha Satya Bandi, Shashi Meshapam and Pratap Deva
Dense urbanization leading to uncontrolled transformations within settlements result in flash flooding with overflowing drains leading to a greater inconvenience for the public and damage to private properties. Hence mapping of flash floods would be useful in identifying the high-risk flood zones for disaster response and urban services, during emergencies with rainfall events of high intensity. This article aims to prepare a flood hazard map of Warangal Municipal Corporation (WMC) in Telangana State, India. WMC is chronically affected due to a rise in water levels resulting in flash floods, with an increase in encroachments. The factors considered in this study are rainfall (curve number), surface slope and surface roughness, type of soil, and distance to main channel, drainage density, and land use cover. To decide the relative weight of the impact of each flood causative factors an Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) was used. Accordingly, a composite Flood Hazard Index (FHI) has been derived by using the multiple-criteria decision-making tools by integrating these into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in Quantum GIS (QGIS), which is a hydrological model, was used to evaluate the projection of streamflow over the water basin and model parameters were optimized using water balance equations during calibration and validation periods.
Najum us Saqib, Asim Yaqub, Gomal Amin, Imran Khan, Faridullah, Huma Ajab, Iftikhar Zeb and Didar Ahmad
The northern area of Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan (GB), has huge tourist potential due to its exotic mountain beauty. According to the GB Tourism Department, a large number of tourists (around 200651) visit GB every year from across the country. Due to a large influx of tourists in the area both positive and negative impacts have been felt especially on the environment and on the local communities. The environmental impacts of tourism were investigated in this research in two districts of GB. Three villages were selected from each of the districts of Hunza and Diamer as the basis of this research. This study was based on the perceptions and attitudes of the respondents. The total number of questionnaires completed was 340 filled from different respondent categories. Results showed that deforestation, loss of biodiversity, generation of solid waste, water, air and noise pollution, damage cultural and heritage sites and are the main environmental issues caused by tourism activities in the villages in these districts. About 42% of respondents said that deforestation and loss of biodiversity were high in the Diamer district while in Hunza 39% of respondents said that solid waste generation was high. Similarly, 21% respondents in Hunza and 14% respondents in Diamer agreed that water pollution is caused by tourism activities. Microbial analysis of water confirmed the presence of Salmonella typhi, E. coli and Enterobacter sp. There were positive impacts of tourism with results revealing that 87% of villagers and 98% of businessmen responded that tourism had provided them with jobs and business during the peak tourism season. Hotels and restaurants are the main source of jobs in GB mainly as porters and guides. According to the data collected dry fruits, medicinal herbs, gemstones and handicrafts provided considerable attractions for tourists. It is recommended that a combined effort be made by the local communities, tourism departments and other Govt. Agencies to ensure the cleanliness of tourist attractions.
Woon Hang Lee, Saiful Arif Abdullah and Shukor Bin Md Nor
Unabated land use changes in developing countries have imperilled the urban ecosystem resilience. An urban protected area is one of the critical systems to absorb disturbance regimes in the metropolitan area, but it is increasingly pressured by urbanization. Therefore, assessing their land use and landscape pattern changes are pivotal to identify the conservation capacity. We developed land use maps for Klang Gate, Bukit Kutu, and Sungai Dusun wildlife reserves to assess their spatial and temporal land use changes between 1988 and 2012. The degree of fragmentation, the intensity of human impact and structural connectedness for these wildlife reserves were also quantified. The findings revealed that Klang Gate which located adjacent to the highly urbanizing area experienced a very significant loss of forest while built-up area and commercial agriculture gradually encroached into the reserve. It also has a higher degree of fragmentation and human impact than the other two reserves. Human impact inside of Klang Gate was concomitant to the outside. However, Bukit Kutu almost undisturbed and Sungai Dusun was slightly intruded by commercial agriculture. The results help different stakeholders, such as managing authorities and policy planners to strategize new land use planning that utilize limited land-based resources for future economic and social development. As the findings showed that urban protected areas alone are not sufficient in maintaining the urban ecosystem; therefore new conservation planning that integrates other urban green spaces at their surrounding is critical to ameliorating the conservation on a long-term basis.
The study of aquatic vegetation in the littoral of the dimictic water bodies of taiga is of particular interest in case of long-term observations carried out under conditions of climate fluctuations. During the low-water period, drying of the littoral with a decrease in the water level leads to the changes in phytomass of macrophytes, as well as in the composition of species and their distribution by depth. The area of littoral covered with ice in winter is also large in the low-water period; it affects the growth of perennial plants. When the water level decreases, the sand beach replaces the sand and pebble beach; it leads to the disappearance of epilithon and the predominance of rooting plants. The features of vegetation were determined for each period of water content. The low-water period is characterised mostly by grass-type vegetation; the high-water period is characterised by vegetation of mixed type.