Local Communities Attitudes towards Participatory Forest Manage-ment Approach and Its Implications for Sustainablity of Forest Condi-tion and Livelihoods

Tesfaye Samuel Saguye

Abstract


This study assess the local communities  attitudes  towards participatory forest management approaches in the Chilim—Gaji  forest in Ethiopia and further analyses factors that affect   attitudes towards the forest and forest management. Data for the study was generated through household survey comprising of 265 respondents selected through simple random technique and substantiated by key informant interview and FGDs. Data analyzed by employing both descriptive and inferential statistics.  The study findings revealed that, generally the respondents held positive attitudes towards the forest and PFM approach. The results also depicted the association between socio-economic features of people living close to the forest and their use of forest resources and demonstrated the basis of attitudes towards those managing the for-est. Sixty percent of respondents were found to agree with the idea of Chilimo-Gaji forest conservation; however, statistically significant differences were found between the villages in terms of supportive attitudes toward the forest conservation system (p = 0.02) and toward the PFM System (p = 0.01). However, those highly dependent on the forest to generate income remained reluctant and unsupportive, suggesting that high levels of support toward a conservation project by sections of the community may not translate into conservation success, because the drivers of the deforestation and forest degradation are not supportive. Regression results showed that these perceptions were influenced by different socio-economic, demographic and geophysical factors. These factors included: membership in social groups, wealth stratums, farm size, , livestock ownership and dependency on forest for extraction. A direct financial benefit accrues from the PFM system was found to be the main factor of the respondents’ attitudes and perceptions. This study then suggests that to change the perception and attitudes of local people around the forest, environmental education through awareness raising programs  should be encouraged, and then addressing local development needs, ensuring  real  participation in PFM system if the new  for-est management system wants to win  long lasting  support of local communities in order to improve the forest condition and ensure sustainable rural livelihood.

Keywords


PFM approach, local communities, attitude, perception, chilimo-Gaji forest



DOI: https://doi.org/10.11634/216796061706878



American Journal of Business and Management

ISSN 2167-9606 (Print) ISSN 2167-9614 (Online)/ Copyright ©2012-2017 World Scholars, LLC, USA