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Perceptions and attitudes of local people towards participatory forest management in Tarmaber District of North Shewa Administrative Zone, Ethiopia: the case of Wof-Washa Forests
- Tadesse, SolomonAyele, Teketay, Demel
- Ecological processes 2017 v.6 no.1 pp. 17
- attitudes and opinions, deforestation, descriptive statistics, education, family size, forest management, forests, households, income, land ownership, livestock, people, questionnaires, socioeconomic factors, variance, Ethiopia
- INTRODUCTION: Since the last few decades, the government of Ethiopia has introduced and adopted participatory forest management (PFM) in different regions of the country. However, there is a lack of research dealing with perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM in Wof-Washa Forests (WWF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM implemented in WWF. We hypothesized that the perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM differ with socio-economic variables, such as sex, age, level of education, family size, occupation type, annual income, length of duration of local residence, livestock, and land ownership. METHODS: A structured questionnaire comprised of close- and open-ended questions was developed and administered to a total of n = 64 households to collect information on the perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM in WWF. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regressions were used to analyze and interpret the data. RESULTS: The results revealed that socio-economic variables had significant effects on the perceptions towards “the prevalence of the problems with the existing PFM system” (39% variance explained), “the concept of PFM” (30% variance explained), and “the presence of PFM practice” (11% variance explained). Majority of the respondents accepted the PFM program introduced in WWF in order to protect and manage the WWF. The study also revealed that socio-economic variables had significant effects on the attitudes towards “managing forests via participatory approach” (16% variance explained), “having the responsibility to protect the WWF” (40% variance explained), and “accepting the PFM practice” (54% variance explained). However, the findings suggested that there were some respondents who were yet unsure to fully accept the concept and practice of PFM. CONCLUSIONS: Creating public awareness about PFM is crucial to alleviate the problems of deforestation and reduce the unsustainable use of the WWF. As socio-economic variables that affect perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM may change over time, future research is crucial to consider the time dimension as possible factor while studying perceptions and attitudes of local people towards PFM.