Determinants of community participation in the management of Luvunya Central Forest Reserve, Namayingo district
Sserubidde, Abu Baker
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In Uganda, collaborative forest management approach was adopted through formation of forest management groups (also called CFM groups) to co-manage government forest reserves with state agencies. This was seen as a way of improving the forest cover and enhancing the livelihoods of communities adjacent to forests. The overall objective of this study was to assess factors that influence community participation in the management of forest resources in Luvunya Central Forest Reserve (CFR). Data was collected from 80 randomly sampled households in Buswale Sub County in Namayingo district using questionnaires, observations and interviewer-administered individual interviews. Socio-demographic characteristics influencing individual’s participation in collaborative forest management were analyzed using binary logistic regressions. Results indicated that about 95% of the individuals who are members of the conservation groups actively participate in various activities. However, individuals that held leadership positions were only 20% while those who were involved in frequent decision making were only about 27%. The key challenges facing community participation were poverty, inadequate technical assistant from NFA and limited knowledge of forest management. Socio-demographic characteristics that positively influenced participation in CFM were distance from household to the forest and amount of land accessed (p<0.05). On the other hand, the household size negatively influenced participation (p<0.05) in CFM group. Members suggested tree planting, increased awareness, provision of technical assistance by the National Forestry authority (NFA) and the joining of the conservation groups by other members as ways to enhance community participation in CFM in the area. Light of the key findings, the study recommends that the NFA and other conservation agencies in the area should made deliberate efforts to incentivize the resources- poor households and those living close to the forest boundary in CFM activities.