Livelihood impacts of forest carbon project and its implications for forest sustainability: the case of regenerated forest in Humbo District, Southwestern Ethiopia
This study examines the impacts of forest carbon project on the livelihoods of rural households and its implications for the sustainability of forest by focusing on a regenerated forest in Humbo district of Southwestern Ethiopia. The methods through which primary data were gathered are a triangulation of household survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. A total of 132 households were covered by the survey. Findings indicate that though majority of the households resorted to use resources on their own land, the change in the households’ access to the forestland made 24.2% of the sample households to purchase fuel-wood, 39.4 % to purchase fodder and 62.9 % to reduce their livestock possessions. Although some households benefited from the jobs created and the skill trainings given by the initiative, only 22% of the sample household attributed the improvement of their yearly income to the benefits associated with the project. The protection of the forestland came up with negative livelihood outcomes particularly for households which previously highly depended on the forestland and for those living in the close proximity of the protected forest. Finally, among several variables considered, only educational status of the respondents, size of farmland and the distance of the households from the forestland were found to statistically significantly influence the attitude of the respondents towards the forest. Achieving positive livelihood outcome, therefore, requires among others fencing the forest area to reduce human-wildlife conflict; and developing frameworks for access to microcredit services in the study areas.
Keywords: Carbon project, Ethiopia, forest sustainability, Humbo, livelihood, regenerated forest