Local Communities Incentives for Forest Conservation: Case of Kakamega Forest in Kenya
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"The study is based on a biodiversity-rich remnant of a tropical rainforest located in western Kenya under immense threat of survival. The forest is located in a densely populated area inhabited by poor farming communities. Currently the forest is managed by three management regimes each carrying out its function in a different manner. The study identifies, describes and where possible quantifies the various conservation incentives (both economic and non-economic) offered by the three management regimes. Further, the study analyses local people's perception of management regimes by generating management satisfaction rankings; both overall and for specific management aspects. The findings of the study indicate that extraction of direct forest products is the main incentive offered by two of the regimes. The local people obtain substantial financial benefits in the form of products they extract from the forest. Satisfaction ranking showed that the strictest regime among the three was ranked highest overall for it performance. Coincidentally, the highest ranked regime has the best performance among the three in conserving the forest in its pristine state. An ordered logit regression was used to analyse factors influencing the overall satisfaction ranking. The results indicate that socio-economic factors are not significant in explaining the level of satisfaction ranking but involvement in forest conservation activities appears important in explaining satisfaction ranking. The paper concludes by highlighting some policy implications of the results."