An assessment of Gender Roles and Utilization of Indigenous Knowledge in the Management of the Forest Biodiversity in Kaptama Division of Mt. Elegon District, Western Kenya.
This study aimed at assessing the gender roles and the utilization of indigenous knowledge in the management of the forest biodiversity in Kaptama Division of Mt. Elgon District. In particular, the study sought to find out the known indigenous knowledge systems utilized by men and women in the management of the forest biodiversity in the Division, the roles played by both men and women in the management of the forest biodiversity in that Division and the challenges faced by men and women in the management of the forest biodiversity. The study adopted a cross- sectional research design utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The study findings indicate that the potential of utilizing indigenous knowledge for conservation of the forest biodiversity is enormous in Mt. Elgon but the sustainability of this knowledge is seriously threatened. This is due to the fact that there are rapid changes in the belief system, lack of documentation of indigenous knowledge and threats from human settlement. The study recommends that more research should be done to investigate the relationship between biodiversity conservation and indigenous knowledge. There is also need to critically investigate the central role of women in the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and how best to integrate this role into strategies for sustainable biodiversity management.
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