An Integrated Approach to Modeling Resource Utilization for Rural Communities in Developing Countries


Resource consumption in developing countries has been the focus of a considerable amount of research. What has been understudied however, has been the feedback affects of resource consumption on resource availability to both households and communities. Heavy reliance on natural resources and intensive smallholder agriculture common to many rural communities in developing countries has forced people to fulfill short-term needs to the detriment of long-term ecological and livelihood sustainability. This paper introduces a conceptual framework to examine how individuals and households fulfill daily caloric needs and the aggregate effects on resource availability and consumption. Data were collected from a large number of published case studies of rural land-use dynamics, growth and yield models, and human livelihoods were reviewed from scientific journals, reports published by NGOs, and government reports. Using inputs defined by the user, the model tracks annual fuelwood and agricultural land use based on meeting individual energy demands. A case-study-based analysis was patterned after smallholder agriculturalists at the family and community level. Three scenarios are presented in this paper using data from Uganda to illustrate the application of this model.

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Journal of Environmental Management



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