15. Enlarged Satellite Image
However, there are indications that the co-existence between people and the forest is being jeopardized. This enlarged picture shows the southeast portion of Ituri forest, where the plant coverage is thin. Looking at the picture closely, we see that the plant coverage in this part consists of small brown, yellow and yellowish-green spots. The brown spots are newly opened burnt fields. The yellow spots are either fields or new secondary forest. The yellowish green spots are secondary forests developed from abandoned fields. The forest environment in this area is receding at an unprecedented rate due to the expansion of slash-and-burn agriculture. In fact, the east side of the forest, which connects to the escarpments of the Great Rift Valley, is an area where the agricultural population density is extremely high, and land shortage has become a serious problem; farmers are flowing into the sparsely populated Ituri forest looking for land for cultivation. Such population inflows from outside the forest are threatening the man-nature relationship of co-existence.