Keywords: demography, forestry, agriculture, environmental impact, Africa, population growth, forest sustainability, sustainable development, climate change, deforestation, agricultural land, forest exploitation, green economics
Population growth and forest sustainability in Africa
Recent distressing trends in climate change, population explosion and deforestation have inspired this paper, which completes the existing literature by providing empirical justification to hypothetical initiatives on the impact of population growth on forest sustainability in Africa. Using three instruments of forest exploitation, the study shows how rural, agricultural and national population growths affect forest–area and agricultural–land. In this particular study, the findings indicate that instruments of forest exploitation do not explain changes in forest–area and agricultural–land beyond population growth mechanisms. Hence, population growth channels are a major driving force by which forest–area and agricultural–land are depleted and expanded, respectively. As a policy implication in the process of deforestation, a balanced approach is needed to take account of the interests of both; a green economy promoting sustainable development and the growing population needs.