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Land Cover Assessment of Indigenous Communities in the Bosawas Region of Nicaragua

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Abstract:
Data derived from remotely sensed images were utilized to conduct land cover assessments of three indigenous communities in northern Nicaragua. Historical land use, present land cover and land cover change processes were all identified through the use of a geographic information system (GIS). Results of the assessment reveals that the indigenous peoples were utilizing portions of their present claims in the decade before 1986, that most of the these areas were abandoned during the civil war of the 1980's, and that the residents returned to the region at the conclusion of the war. Also moving into the region at this time were mestizo settlers seeking new lands to occupy. Four change processes were identified as occurring during the period 1986-1995, deforestation, degradation, reconversion, and reforestation, with degradation affecting the largest area, followed by reforestation. The data produced by this study will aid the communities in retaining their lands, and developing land use management plans that meet their needs.

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Citation:Smith, J. H. Land Cover Assessment of Indigenous Communities in the Bosawas Region of Nicaragua. HUMAN ECOLOGY REVIEW 29(3):339-347, (2001).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Characterization Branch (RTP)
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 09/25/2001
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Landscape Characterization and Change Detection Methods Development Research (2005-2007)
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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