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Title: The road to deforestation: an assessment of forest loss and its causes in Basho Valley, Northern Pakistan
Authors: Alia, Jawad
Abu Hammad, Ahmad
Oystein B., Dick
Benjaminsena, Tor A.
Keywords: Deforestation -;Forest management - Pakistan
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Global Environmental Change
Abstract: Deforestation in the Himalayas is generally seen as caused primarily by population growth. Based on interviews and the analysis of satellite images, we critically examine this view using Basho Valley in the Western Himalayas of Pakistan as a case study. Our findings indicate that the forest of Basho has been reduced by at least 50% after the valley was opened up through the construction of a link road in 1968. Large-scale legal and illegal commercial harvesting was carried out after the construction of the road. While legal commercial harvesting was stopped in 1987, illegal harvesting has since continued with the involvement of the Forest Department. The findings of this study do not support theories in which deforestation is attributed to rapid population growth. Instead, mismanagement and illegal commercial harvesting endorsed by the Forest Department have been the main causes of deforestation in Basho Valley.
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