Illegal activities in Ago-Owu Forest Reserve in Osun Sate and its implication on sustainable forest management
This study aimed at assessing illegal activities with a view to enhancing sustainable forest management (SFM) in Ago-Owu reserve. Purposive sampling was used to select four communities from eight communities around the reserves. The major targets were the households. Based on this, 162 respondents (48, 27, 45, and 42) were selected from 480, 266, 447 and 420 households in Mokore, Ejemu, Abaoba and Famuyiwu respectively using 10% sampling intensity. Primary data were collected using questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square and logistic regression. Majority of the respondents were male (62.9%), 51-60years (33.3%), married (50.6%), had secondary education (48.1%), had 16-30 years of residency (67.9%), with household size of 4 (32.7%), farmers (58.6%) and indigenes (77.2%). Majority (18.5%) generated income/annum of ₦310000 - ₦400000. Major illegal activities were; collection of fuelwood (96.3%), trespass (96.3%) and illegal felling of trees (89.5%). Illegal activities were dependent on communities (χ2 =19.30); sex (χ2 = 6.33); education (χ2 = 11.59), nativity (χ2 = 12.30), years of residency (χ2 = 45.13) and occupation (χ2 =13.09). Major socio-economic impacts include; damaging of NTFPs (90.1%), loss of revenue (90.1%) and climate change (84.5%). High population was the most significant factor contributing to illegal activities with odds-ratio of 1249218286570. Methods mostly used in monitoring illegal activities include; Use of law enforcement agency (100%), Forest guards (88.3%) and Community vigilante (75.3%). Illegal activities in forest reserves are a major threat to forest conservation. Therefore, strategies aimed at reducing dependence on forest should be established thereby enhancing SFM.
Keywords: Illegal activities, Forest reserve, Households, Conservation, Sustainable forest management