The economic contribution of Mpanga forest reserve to the livelihoods of Kammengo Subcounty, Mpigi district
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The study on contribution of Mpanga CFR to peoples’ livelihoods was conducted in Kammengo Sub-county, Mpigi District. The general objective of the study was to assess the contribution of Mpanga CFR to the livelihoods of the forest surrounding residents in Kammengo sub-county. The specific objectives of the study were; to find out the products and services people obtain from the forest, the economic contribution of Mpanga CFR, challenges faced by people WHEN obtaining the products and services from the forest. A sample of eighty-five respondents was taken from the ten villages in Kammengo Sub-county, the data collection methods used were; interviews through use of questionnaires and observation. Data concerning financial benefits of forests to households as well as other sources of income were analyzed. Secondary data was used as well to estimate the economic and social values of forest ecosystem services and how they affect people’s livelihoods in Kammengo Sub-County Mpigi district. The respondents reported engagement in the different coping strategies like purchasing, growing, use of medical centers, plantations as a way of adapting to the challenges like reduction in availability of forest foods, medicinal plants and fuel wood. However, some respondents reported having no alternative sources of forest products other than the forest reserve by pointing out some of their illnesses which could not be cured by the conventional medicines obtained from the health centers. This study concludes that a decline in the quantities of forest provisioning ecosystem services particularly forest foods, fuel wood and medicinal plants harvested from the forest. Picking, uprooting, tree climbing, debarking and use of fallen trees are the methods used for harvesting the different livelihood needs with the fact that overharvesting is leading to acquisition shortages and to the National Forestry Authority (NFA) official restrictions which resorted to a reduction in income generation from the forest products. The study recommends the need to communicate to the communities around the forest about the relevancy of sustainable use of the forest resources to prevent their reduced availability. Addressing the perceived changes in the income requires the intervention of both the local communities and the management authorities to reduce forest degradation mainly due to unsustainable harvesting of the forest products to attain livelihood requirements.