NATURAL AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPES OF EQUATORIAL AFRICA
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This paper attempts to characterise various cultural landscapes in the area of Equatorial Africa. To achieve this, the contents of various thematic maps and satellite photos representing: areas covered with forests (mostly secondary forests), nature reserves, areas of extensive and intensive agriculture and urban-industrial areas were overlaid with the contents of map of potential vegetation (which represent, to use a simplification, the natural, primeval landscape). The method applied allowed for distinguishing five types of cultural landscape that correspond to five levels of transformation of the primeval landscape. The resulting map shows a mosaic-like structure of landscapes. This structure changes constantly. The surface area of regions with a certain landscape type increases or decreases, or else the regions change their locations. A detailed analysis of socio-economic processes (and the related changes in the natural environment) can constitute a basis for a prediction of cultural landscape transformation. It is the author's opinion that such prediction could be applied in various planning projects.
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