Shaping forest safety net with forest management and conservation in Gambari Forest Reserveoyo State Nigeria
There had been massive conversion of Forest Reserves into agricultural land without any meaningful effort by the authorities to halt the trend. The study evaluated the safety net roles of forests in relation to forest management and conservation in Oyo State Nigeria. The study was specifically conducted at Gambari Forest Reserve area of Oyo State. Purposive sampling method was employed in choosing the study area due to the high forest regeneration potential in Oyo state. Two hundred copies of a structured questionnaire were administered and retrieved. Both qualitative and quantitative (statistics) methods (such as Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT), Gross Margin and Somer’s D models) were used for the analysis. The results showed that forests had the capacity of improving the livelihood of the poor particularly those that ventured into forest income-generating activities. For instance, the poverty gap indices were conventionally measured to be 73% but reduced to about 66% with a drop of about 7% when forest income was included in the econometric analysis. Similarly, the inclusion of forest income reduced poverty severity measure from 69% (without forest resources income) to about 51%, a drop of 18%. Also, the study revealed that forest protection rate (49.4% timber, 21.3% non-timber) was appreciable among other factors while clearing of environment improved the management of non-timber (48%) than timber (24.5). Further, management of NTFPs had the capacity of improving peoples' welfare unlike timber forest products Forest management mechanisms related to timber products favoured forest conservation at the expense of surrounding communities’ welfare (poverty and income). Therefore, given the high dependence level of rural communities on forests and its attendant effects on the resources, balancing forest preservation and management mechanisms were recommended for creating a sustainable forest conservation model for rural communities.
Keywords: Safety net; poverty; rural household, forest management; conservation strategies; forest related enterprise