Forest ecosystem services and livelihood of communities around Shume-Magamba Forest Reserve, Lushoto, Tanzania
A study on the potential of forest ecosystem services to the livelihood of communities around Shume-Magamba Forest Reserve in Lushoto District, Tanzania was conducted. Questionnaire survey, focus group discussion and participant’s observation were used. Qualitatively and quantitatively data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science. Provisioning services were mostly recognized by local communities as the service provided by forest ecosystem followed by cultural services. Provisioning services played greater role in people’s livelihood by generating subsistence income. Income generated (66%) by both men and women were highly used to cater for food, health and education. There was no significant difference between gender and income generated from provisioning services to household livelihood. Men were mainly involved in forest protection and tree planting conservation aspects while women involved in law enforcement thus attaining sustainable forest ecosystem utilization. Fire incidences, planting crops near to water sources and illegal timber harvesting were observed to be the main constraints towards sustainable use of forest ecosystem services. It is concluded that, communities were highly uncertain on the potentials of forest ecosystem services to the livelihood, but in actual fact ecosystem services provide both direct and indirect benefits for household livelihood though the income generated is low.
Keywords: Forest ecosystem services, Shume-Magamba Forest Reserve, Tanzania