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Strategies for empowering the local people to participate in forest restoration

Galabuzi C., Eilu G., Mulugo L., Kakudidi E., Tabuti J.R.S., Sibelet N.. 2014. AgroForestry Systems, 88 (4) : p. 719-734.

DOI: 10.1007/s10457-014-9713-6

Within various parts of the tropics and temperate regions, there are increasingly more efforts towards reforestation or restoration. Interventions in the tropics however, have not adequately addressed the needs of local people compelling them to degrade forests. We conducted a study in and around Mabira Forest Reserve in Uganda with the aim of assessing locally proposed restoration techniques and conditions for empowering local people to raise their willingness to participate in forest restoration practices. We specifically set out to; (i) identify proposed techniques to restore the degraded forests, and (ii) determine the pre-conditions for supporting local people's participation in restoration activities. Data were collected using individual semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participatory forest surveys. The findings show that the local people mainly engaged in practices that address their needs concurrently. The most reported practices include: planting trees on farm, enrichment tree planting in the forest, control of soil erosion, and control of invasive alien species. The main pre-conditions for their participation in forest restoration is assurance for more access to forest resources. The efficiency of local people in restoration will be enhanced by strengthening their capacity for collaborative forest management, raising their awareness on restoration, building their capacity, as well as continuous monitoring by forest managers.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; reconstitution forestière; forêt protégée; participation communautaire; approches participatives; approches communautaires; incitation; protection de la forêt; communauté rurale; lutte antiérosion; ouganda; forêt enrichie

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