Design, Characterization and Geospatial Analysis of Physical and Socio-economic Indicators of Anthropogenic Pressures on Protected Areas in Africa

Main Article Content

Elysée Ntiranyibagira
Francois Xavier Naramabuye
Thacienne Uwilingiyimana
Fabien Muhirwa
Andrew Kibogo
Gloriose Umuziranenge
Isaac Kayumba
Concorde Nsengumuremyi


In Africa, the important agro-pastoral activity and poverty in rural areas lead to strong anthropogenic pressures on protected areas and to their quick degradation. Therefore the efficient conservation and sustainable exploitation of protected areas require adaptive and dynamic management that integrates peripheral interactions with regard to their changing spatial and temporal dimensions. They call for the deployment of appropriate management indicators capable of translating all the issues raised into concrete and practical terms. To this end, a new conceptual and analytical approach to assess pressure indicators is needed to take into account the spatio-temporal oscillation or mobility of the area of ​​socio-economic dependence that must henceforth provide the basis for sustainable management in the context of adaptation to climate change. The study responds to this concern through rigorous conceptualization, characterization and validation of original peripheral pressure indicators focused on a global and dynamic socio-economic framework. The method used consisted of an interpretative analysis of theoretical bibliographic data, measurements and field observations using GPS, ArcGIS 10.1 and Envi 4.5 and semi-structured interviews for the characterization of defined pressure indicators and their field validation. The five pressure indicators designed and applied on the basis of the criteria of direct dependence on protected areas are the coefficient of asymmetry (Kc), the periphery (Ψ), the dependent population (Dπ), the distance-access time (DAT) and the field daily working time (FDWT). The approach and pressure indicators were successfully applied to the Rusizi National Park (Burundi) for the period 1984-2015. The results showed that the park has a coefficient of asymmetry of 2.64 which represents a three times higher level than its circular equivalent, a periphery of 13.23 km radius composed of 35 localities characterized by distance-access times comprise between 0 to 2 h 30 and field daily working times ranging from 7 to 11 hours. They revealed that nearly 70% of peripheral populations are concentrated within 6 km from the boundaries and have distance-access times of less than one hour. The peripheral dependence on Rusizi Park reaches 100% for woody resources, 97% for livestock products, 88% for agricultural resources and 83% for animal protein products. The modeling of potential pressures and field observations showed that peripheral localities are the more threatening that they are more dependent, more populated and closer to the park. As a consequence, the important anthropogenic pressures led to a very significant degradation of the park during the study period.

Protected area, anthropogenic pressure, pressure indicator, periphery, geospatial analysis

Article Details

How to Cite
Ntiranyibagira, E., Naramabuye, F., Uwilingiyimana, T., Muhirwa, F., Kibogo, A., Umuziranenge, G., Kayumba, I., & Nsengumuremyi, C. (2019). Design, Characterization and Geospatial Analysis of Physical and Socio-economic Indicators of Anthropogenic Pressures on Protected Areas in Africa. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 9(1), 44-57.
Method Article