Assessment of Levels of Community Awareness to Effects of Forest Degradation and their Environmental Management Practices in Jimma Zone, South western Ethiopia

Kaso Teha Nura, Fentaw Said Endris


This study aimed to assess the levels of community awareness to the environmental effects of growing use of forest product for peoples’ livelihood and their management practices in Jimma Zone. Thus, local farming communities, Development Agents (DA), Agriculture and Natural resource, Forest and Environmental Protection Officials & Experts are the participant of this study. The study employed descriptive survey research design and both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collections were employed. To assess community environmental awareness survey questionnaire questions (both open and close ended) were distributed for 240 sample respondents. An interview with10 Key informant interviews were also conducted with the head of natural resource management offices of selected woredas and six development agents (DA) in sample selected kebeles and four focus group discussions (FDG) consisted of 10 members were also employed to collect qualitative data.The findings show that all the respondents aware of forest and natural resource degradation about (87%) and (75.4%) were aware of clearing of forest to expand farmland for growing population and cutting trees for fuel wood, charcoal and other forest productsrespectively. Only very few of the respondents were indicate that lack of community awareness to sustainable use and management of forest resource (44.5%)and lack of clear understanding of forest laws and regulation among the community (40.4%)as a cause of deforestation. Therefore, the assessment of community awareness to forest resource degradation survey result shows that all of the farmers in the study area have been aware of natural resource and environmental degradation. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that there is a need of modifying educational/training programs for local communities considering the existing knowledge and practices in a particular area.


Community Awareness; Forest Degradation; Environmental Management; Jimma Zone

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