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Lund University (2019)

Linking conflict events and cropland development in Afghanistan, 2001 to 2011, using MODIS land cover data and Uppsala Conflict Data Programme

Hesch, Gunnar

Titre : Linking conflict events and cropland development in Afghanistan, 2001 to 2011, using MODIS land cover data and Uppsala Conflict Data Programme

Auteur : Hesch, Gunnar

Université de soutenance : Lund University

Grade : Master Thesis in Geographical Information Science 2019

Résumé
This thesis describes changes in land cover between 2001 and 2011 in Afghanistan, and analyzes the influence of conflict events on cropland development. How did fighting intensity affect cropland areas in Afghanistan, did cropland areas decrease or increase, and were there regional differences in cropland development ? Yearly MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) land cover data have been used in this thesis work to assess cropland changes. Cropland area has increased from 8,188 km² in 2001 to 13,304 km² in 2011. Regional patterns are that the area of cropland decreased in more mountainous regions, and increased in the plains north and south of the Hindu Kush, the mountain range dominating Afghanistan. The Uppsala Conflict Data Programme (UCDP) Georeferenced Event Dataset has been used to assess conflict events. The number of UCDP entries in a specific area has been used as a measure of conflict intensity.

Key Results In areas with higher conflict intensities, cropland area increased slower than in areas without conflict events. While cropland area increased by 85 % from 2001 to 2011 in conflict free regions, it only increased by 37 % in conflict regions. In areas with very high conflict intensities, there is a 10 % increase in cropland area. These results fit well into the current state of research : The Soviet invasion in the nineteen-eighties had long lasting negative impact on cropland area, leaving room for increases in cropland area. Research has shown negative effects of war on agricultural development, which fits the findings that higher conflict areas result in decelerated cropland growth. Regarding the overall positive cropland development in Afghanistan, the question arises what part of this growth is due to the influence of poppy cultivation/ heroin production, which would shift the assessment of the growth both from a moral and a food security perspective. (Less)

Mots Clés  : geography, GIS, MODIS, Afghanistan, UCDP GED, cropland, conflict

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Page publiée le 3 juin 2020