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Journal of Forests

June 2021, Volume 8, 1, pp 45-60

Impacts of Rural Community on the Forest Estate in Ugbolu, Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State, Nigeria

Oghenekevwe Abigail Ohwo

,

Nnamdi Francis Nzekwe-Ebonwu

Oghenekevwe Abigail Ohwo 1 ,

Nnamdi Francis Nzekwe-Ebonwu 1 
  1. Department of Agronomy, Forestry and Wildlife, Faculty of Agriculture, Delta State University Abraka, Asaba Campus, Delta State, Nigeria. 1

Pages: 45-60

DOI: 10.18488/journal.101.2021.81.45.60

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Article History:

Received: 20 January, 2021
Revised: 10 February, 2021
Accepted: 02 March, 2021
Published: 29 March, 2021


Abstract:

This study examined the impact of Community based forest management (CBFM) in Ugbolu forest reserve (UFR), Delta State. A random selection of 110 respondents was carried out. Information on activities encouraging deforestation, list of resources extracted, jobs and income provided from involvement in CBFM, structure and strategy used by community in managing UFR were collected using structured questionnaire and interview section. Descriptive statistics was used to analysed the data (frequency table and likert scale). Majority of respondents were male (51.8%), married (61.6%), between the age of 31-40 (34.5%), had household size of 7-9 (39.1%). The activities that contributed to deforestation in the reserve were logging (70.9%), livestock breeding (15.5%), and farming (10.9%). The forest resources harvested included Tectona grandis, Gmelina aborea, Rattus fuscipes, Thryonomy swinderianus. Involvement in CBFM provided jobs (categorized as Forest user groups (FUG) namely; timber merchants, fellers, loaders, hunters, farmers, forest guards to community members. The income earned varied between ?11,000 ($28.9) to ?200,000 ($526.3) monthly. Majority (58.2%) of respondent stated that heads of different FUG constituted the committee which works with an annual plan (53.4%), arrived at by voting (70.0%). The annual plans meet the demands of various FUG (81.8%) with little interference from government (86.4%). The committees major forest management strategies included partnership of forest guards with rural people (40.0%), creation of a community forest administration group (26.4%) and laws stopping illegal entry into the forest estate (23.4%). Intensification of government involvement and adequate funding for effective CBFM were recommended by the study.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies that have investigated the participation of rural dwellers in the management of the forest. The interests of various user were met, the forest estate adequately managed, and crisis, a basic characteristic of natural resources management was reduced.

Keywords:

Community, Forest reserve, Forest management, Strategies, Committees, Deforestation, Livelihood.

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Funding:

This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Acknowledgement:

Both authors appreciate the hospitality of the Ugbolu community and respondents for their openness to providing the data for this study.

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