Land use and land cover changes analysis: Linking local communities to land use and land cover changes using participatory geographic information systems (PGIS)..
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Land use and land cover changes are important processes that influence the dynamics of human-wildlife conflicts. Effective management of human-wildlife conflicts requires the participation of local communities and other stakeholders. However, local communities need to identify and understand resource use change and their role in the process, so as to facilitate uptake of appropriate land resource management strategies aimed at counteracting human-wildlife conflicts. Approaches aimed at changing local community behavior towards natural resource use require appropriate technologies that bridge the technology and knowledge gaps between policy makers and local communities. PGIS was used to assess and educate local communities on land use and land cover changes as well as visualize the problems associated with resource changes. Local communities were found to be significantly knowledgeable about resource changes and their causes. PGIS compared well to conventional GIS analysis and therefore an appropriate technology for analysing and monitoring landuse and land cover changes.