Local Participation in Community Forest Associations: A Case Study of Sururu and Eburu Forests, Kenya
Mutune, Jane M
Wahome, Raphael G
Mungai, David N
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Participation of local communities in the management and utilization of state-owned forest resources has become widely recognized in contrast to centralised forms of forest governance. This paper examined the extent of inclusiveness and household participation in community forest associations (CFAs) adjacent to Sururu and Eburu forests in Kenya. The probit model was used to assess the socio-economic factors determining participation in the CFAs. The study established that gender (P<0.05), group membership (P<0.0001), ownership of tree nursery (P<0.0001), wealth status (P<0.0001), percentage share of wage income (P<0.05), and farm size allocated to trees (P<0.05) significantly influenced CFA participation. However, because of high opportunity participation costs some poor (68%) and rich (65%) households did not participate in CFA activities. Since households participated in CFAs to derive livelihood gains, unclear participation benefits offered little incentive to get involved. Thus participation in CFA activities remained low. Therefore, Kenya Forest Service should review participation guidelines to enable effective CFA input in decision making on forest issues.
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