GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 391-401.doi: 10.11821/yj2009020013

• Land Resource and Use • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study on forests cover change and its driving forces in Lao PDR

CHANHDA Hemmavanh1,2, WU Ci-fang2   

  1. Department of Land Resource Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
  • Received:2008-05-11 Revised:2008-08-16 Online:2009-03-25 Published:2009-03-25


Forest resource is the largest and most important natural resource in Lao PDR. Based on the forest cover and land use data of Lao PDR in years of 1982, 1992 and 2002, the concept of Lorenz curve and Gini coefficients (GC) are introduced to make an qualitative and quantitative analysis of the forest cover change in Lao PDR. Moreover, its driving forces and main influencing factors are analyzed. The result indicated that the area proportion and the distributed structure of each type of forest land have changed relatively. In terms of the area, Current Forest (CF) and Other Wooded Areas (OW) decreased most remarkedly, by 3% and 5.3% respectively. While Potential Forest (PF) and Permanent Agriculture (PA) increased by 5.4% and 2.1% separately. Comparatively, the area of Other Non-Forest Areas (NF) did not change much. As for the feature of the forest distribution, Current Forest (CF), and Other Wooded Areas (OW) show discrete, while Potential Forest (PF), Permanent Agriculture (PA) and Other Non-Forest Areas (NF) tend to be balanced. Forest cover of Lao PDR has changed due to its history and level of economic and social development, which is the co-driven result of development of society and economy, population increasing and so on. And the main driving forces are the widespread poverty of Lao PDR and the slash-and-burn cultivation, which has a devastating influence on society and environment.

Key words: forest cover, Lao PDR, Lorenz curve, Gini coefficient, driving forces