The area covered by shrubs decreased continuously between 1993 and 2014. A forest transition
could be observed in the study area as a shift from a net deforestation to a net reforestation, and it occurred at the mid of the 2000s. Fig. 3 shows the spatial pattern of land cover change between 1993 and 2014. Most of the deforestation took place in the northern and southeastern buy Pexidartinib part of the district which can be explained by the fact that forests in the southwestern part are mainly situated within the Hoang Lien National Park. According to the national law, farmland expansion is forbidden within national parks. Nevertheless, some forest loss can be observed which is probably due to forest fires and illegal logging. Fig. 4 shows the spatial pattern of the independent variables that were evaluated in this study. It is clear that Kinh people are living in click here Sa Pa town, while Hmong and Tày ethnic groups occupy the rural area. Hmong ethnic groups are
settled on higher elevations, and Tày are generally settled nearby the rivers in the valleys. The villages of the Yao are situated in the peripheral areas in the north and south of Sa Pa district. Fig. 4A shows that the household involvement in tourism is highest in Sa Pa town (>50%). Involvement in tourism in the peripheral areas is restricted to a few isolated villages. The poverty rate map shows that the town of Sa Pa and its surrounding villages are richer than the more peripheral areas. The southern
part of the district is also richer because many local households receive an additional income from cardamom cultivation under forest. Cardamom is mainly grown under trees of the Hoang Lien National Park in the southern part of the district. The population growth is positive in the whole district and highest in Sa Pa town and its immediate surroundings. Table 4 shows the results of the ANCOVA analysis for four land cover trajectories: deforestation, reforestation, land abandonment and expansion of arable land. The explanatory power of the ANCOVA models is assessed by the R2 values ( Table 4). Between 55 and 72% of the variance in land cover change is explained by the selected predictors. Land cover change is controlled by a combination of biophysical and socio-economical factors. Forests are typically better preserved in villages with poor accessibility (steep slopes, far from Cepharanthine main roads, and poor market access), and a low or negative population growth. The influence of environmental and demographic drivers on forest cover change has previously been described for other areas of frontier colonization ( Castella et al., 2005, Hietel et al., 2005, Getahun et al., 2013 and Vu et al., 2013). Table 4 shows that household involvement in tourism is negatively associated with deforestation and positively with land abandonment. When the involvement of households in tourism activities increased with 10%, deforestation is predicted to have decreased with resp. 0.