International Journal of Horticulture and Floriculture

International Journal of Horticulture and Floriculture ISSN 2167-0455 Vol. 3 (1), pp. 142-152, January, 2015. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of community perceived impacts of participatory forest management on community livelihoods

Wacera S.A*, Kahiu R.A and Siege A. Wanuri

*Corresponding author. E-mail: wacera.solomon@gmail.com

Department of Horticulture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Juja, Kiambu County, Central Kenya, Kenya

Accepted 23 July, 2014

Abstract

Participatory Forest Management (PFM) process was piloted in Arabuko Sokoke Forest (ASF) Dida beat in 1997 as an alternative forest management approach This was necessitated by national outcry over forest resource degradation, clamour for democratization and need for better forest governance. The motivation for introducing PFM were as diverse as were the stakeholders: for KFS and other government departments’ it was forest protection and biodiversity conservation with communities being motivated by anticipated opportunity to access benefits and participate in forest management. Non-Governmental Organizations were motivated by pioneering PFM introduction in Kenya and community poverty alleviation. The objective of this study was to assess community perceived impacts of PFM on community livelihoods and forest management. PRA tools and household questionnaire were used for the survey of 40 randomly selected households. The study has shown that PFM can contribute to better forest management. About 87.5% of respondents perceived that the forest condition had improved since 1995. PFM contributes to improved livelihoods as indicated by 64% of the respondents in the PFM villages of Dida who perceived that household well-being overall improved between 1995 and 2005 compared to Vimburuni village (non PFM village) in which only 31% of respondents indicated improved wellbeing.

Key words: Participatory forest management, wellbeing, poverty, better forest management, perception.