Understanding land use, land cover and woodland-based ecosystem services change, Mabalane, Mozambique

Authors Mahamane, M.; Zorilla-Miras, P.; Verweij, P.; Sitoe, A.; Ryan, C.; Patenaude, G.; Grundy, I.; Nhantumbo, I.; Metzger, M.J.; Ribeiro, N.; Baumert, S.; Vollmer, F.
Year of Publication 2017
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Energy and Environment Research
Volume 7
Open Access Yes


Charcoal production constitutes a key ecosystem service in Mozambique, with an estimated market value of US$400 million a year. Due to the central role the charcoal industry plays in local livelihoods, availability of suitable wood for charcoal production has decreased because of changes in land use and land cover (LULC). This paper applied a probabilistic modelling approach combining Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs), Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing data, field data, and expertise from different stakeholders to understand how changes in LULC affect woodland-based ecosystem services (ES) in the Mabalane landscape, southern Mozambique. Three scenarios of policy interventions were tested: Large private; Small holder and Balanced. A BBNs was used to explore the influence of these scenarios from 2014 to 2035 on the resulting LULC. This research facilitated stakeholder engagement and improved the understanding of the interaction between LULC changes and woodland-based ES. The results highlighted the importance and spatial distribution of woodland-based ES to the local communities and that availability of suitable wood for ES will decrease under the first scenario