Saturday, February 28, 2009
Similar patterns of intensifying land use can also be found in more rural areas all across the Greater Asian Mountain region. Galiat is a part of Abbottabad Tahsil of Abbottabad District, Northwestern Pakistan. The area is located in the lesser Himalayan ranges between 33° 55’ and 34° 20’ North latitude and 73° 20’ and 73° 30’ East longitude and is home to 3,250,000 people. The main ridge of Galiat is running from North-West to South-East with big spurs in North-South directions. The main valleys also run in the direction of the spurs. The topography is rugged with steep slopes and narrow valleys with elevations ranging from 1000-3000 m. A mosaic land use pattern exists through out Galiat. The local population in the Galiat area is dependent on natural resources. The rapid population growth during the last 3-4 decades has resulted in a fragmentation of land holdings, clearance of vegetation and breaking of new land and terracing for agriculture, increased competition for scarce resources, steep slope cultivation, degradation of land due to overuse and soil erosion. The degradation of the environment is essentially caused by heavy pressure on the vegetative cover by an ever-increasing density of both livestock and humans.