Socio-economic drivers of ecosystem service provision
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Land degradation is one of the major problems affecting not only Uganda but the whole of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). This challenge is partly due to high population densities and overexploitation of natural resources. Farmers in SSA have now resorted to clearing of the forests in a bid to look for land for settlement, energy requirements and growing of crops to feed the ever increasing population. Options that are left to the farmers are either to use intensive land use systems or depend on the ecosystem services that are provided by the diversified land use systems. As one moves away from diversified to simplified land use systems, ecosystem services may reduce. Since farmers always go for that option that maximize their benefit, decisions can be based on the attributes of the land use systems but more so, on the socio-economic factors that surround them. Such factors for example include land tenure, farmer demographic characteristics, and farmer’s income, among others. Literature suggests that there are mixed factors that influence land use intensities in different parts of the world. This study will identify the socio-economic factors that influence land use decisions in ecosystem services provision in Mt Elgon region of Uganda with a view to expanding the knowledge base as well as guiding decision makers in planning activities.