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E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management

E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management Vol. 4 (1) pp. 0153-0162, January 2013; © E3 Journals; ISSN 2141-7466

Population and environment interaction: the case of gilgel abbay catchment,northwestern Ethiopia

Amare Sewnet Minale 1 *
1 Bahir Dar University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies P.O.Box 79
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
Accepted 12 December 2012


Unevenly distributed and concentrated in highlands; population in Ethiopia has degraded the resource base. Ethiopian population was 79 million with 2.9% growth per year in 2008. In Ethiopia as the result of rapid population increase forest base were affected and soil fertility was severely deteriorated. For the present study, the Ethiopian population information from censuses and different estimates and the last 25 years population size, distribution and growth rate of Gilgel Abbay Catchment districts were evaluated to understand the impact of population over the resource bases. There was rapid increase of population with growth rates 2.3% and 2.2 %( 1984-1994 and 1994-2007) respectively per annum which has caused land cover changes in the catchment districts. In Gilgel Abbay catchment, within the last 35 years about 72.3% of forests, 55% of grass lands, 47.2% of wetlands and 6.3% of lake areas were converted to farm and settlement areas which have been increased by 57.6% within stated periods.

Keywords: Population Increase; Environment; Resource Degradation; Environmental Impact; Land Cover Change

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