Level of local community participation in collaborative forest management in Mabira Central Forest Reserve, Buikwe district
Azio, Brenda Andabati
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Collaborative forest management (CFM) approach in Uganda is being implemented by the National Forest Authority (NFA) and District Forest Service with the aim of establishing forest management partnership between forest adjacent communities and the government agencies mandated to manage the forest. Under this arrangement, local communities co-manage the forests owned by the central or local government. Under the arrangement, local communities‟ rights to use and participate in forest management are clearly defined and focuses on improving livelihood of the forest adjacent communities through implementation of mutually agreed enforcement plans but does not surrender ownership of the forest to the communities. The overall objective of this study was to assess the level of participation of the local community members in CFM around Mabira central forest reserve. Data was collected from 61 randomly sampled households in Buvunya and Nsakya A Sub County in Buikwe district using questionnaires, observations and interviewer-administered individual interviews. Additionally, socio-demographic characteristics influencing an individual‟s participation in collaborative forest management were analyzed using binary logistic regression. Results indicated most of the individuals who are members of the collaborative forest management groups actively participate in various group activities. The key challenges facing community participation were poor working relations with NFA, inadequate technical assistant from NFA and hatred from other community members. CFM group members suggested tree planting and forest protection, get involved in NFA community meetings and encouraging others to join.