n Agrekon - Values rural households in KwaZulu-Natal hold towards forests and their participation in community-based forest management

Volume 52, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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Community-based forest management (CBFM) is the internationally recognised model in which sustainable use of communal forest resources is assured. However, some authors have asserted that policy makers should understand the values communities hold towards forests before recommending strategies for CBFM. This study used Principal Component Analysis to identify the values rural households in KwaZulu-Natal hold towards forests. The Multinomial Logit Model was then used to investigate whether the values households hold towards forests, among other socio-economic and institutional factors, influence households' decisions to participate in self-initiated CBFM programmes. The study found that households' decisions to participate in community forest management depend, not only on the values they hold towards forests, but also on the forest management strategy being pursued. If a protection-oriented management strategy is pursued, households that hold more bio-centric values are more likely to participate, while households that hold more anthropocentric values towards forests are more likely to participate in managing forests when a utilisation-oriented strategy is pursued. Since rural households in KwaZulu-Natal are poor and overwhelmingly hold anthropocentric values towards forests, it was recommended that following the utilisation-oriented forests management strategy to meet the utilitarian needs of the communities would improve household participation, while reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable forest management.

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