Paper Details

  • Author(s) : Shomkegh, S.A., Adaje, P.O. and Verinumbe, I.
  • Abstract:

Perceptions of local people are important for sustainable forest resources management of protected areas. This study
examined perception of community inhabitants on forest resources management in Afi and Mbe mountains, Cross River State,
Nigeria. Eight (8) communities in Afi and four (4) communities in Mbe, constituting 50% of the communitiesin Afi and Mbe
mountains were purposively selected for the study based on their proximity to the forest. Semi-structured questionnaire was
used to obtain information from household heads and key stakeholders made up of community chiefs, leaders of community
associations, women and youth groups in each of the study communities. A total of 313 questionnaires were administered to
255 household heads and 58 key stakeholders in Afi mountain and 167 questionnaire administered in Mbe mountain,
consisting of 137 household heads and 30 key stakeholders. Household heads in each community were systematically sampled
due to their linear settlement fashion, beginning with the first household in each community and followed by every other third
household until the total number of respondents per community were exhausted. Leaders of key stakeholder groups were
randomly selected for the study in each community. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and likert scale
rating, which rated the perception of respondents to forest resources management in the study area. Findings revealed that
98% of household heads were males, married with a mean household size of 8 people in both mountains. Most of the people
were farmers (85%), having a mean age of 50years and earning between #500,000 - #1,000,000 per annum. The key
stakeholders in both communities had a similar trend but most farmers earned below #500,000 per annum. The community
people had good perception of forest management, with those in Afi mountain having higher mean perception (4.92)
compared to the residents around Mbe mountain (4.85). Ninety percent of people around Mbe mountain believed that better
management of the forest will be possible if forest dependent communities and NGOs alone were involved in the management
while those in Afi mountain (40.6) believed that all stakeholders should be involved for better management of the forest. The
perception of the people on impact of local laws on forest management was strong and their compliance to local laws was
rated high in Afi and Mbe mountains. The study concludes that the good perception of the local people is essential for
sustainable management of forest resources in the area. It is recommended that the enforcement of local and state laws be
strengthened in each community for improved management of the forest resources in the mountains. Also, farmers in the
adjourning communities be trained in sustainable intensive farming practices and supported with farm inputs/incentives to
improve productivity and reduce pressure on forest resources.
Key words: Community perception, Forest resources management, Adjourning communities, Afi and Mbe mountains