The impact of war and of post-war reconstruction efforts on agriculture and forest cover change has been understudied. What happens when shifting cultivation – gen- erally seen as one of the main causes of deforestation in the tropics – is the dominant agricultural practice? Based on the analysis of remote sensing imagery and interviews with farmers, we examine the relationship between agricultural practices and forest cover change, after the end of the civil war, in two districts of the Niassa province, in Mozambique. Our findings support the claims that shifting cultivation in Africa is complex, that change may occur in many directions and at different rates simultane- ously and that tropical deforestation is best explained by multiple causes and driving forces rather than by single-factor causation. Furthermore, it reveals the advantage of combining remote sensing with ethno-agronomic data in the study of land use/cover changes.
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