Role of Participatory Forest Management in Woody Species Diversity and Forest Conservation: The Case of Gimbo Woreda in Keffa Zone South West Ethiopia

Asrat Alemayhu


Participatory forest management was started more than one decade ago in Ethiopia as one of the ways applied to reverse deforestation and depletion of natural resources. However, there are no adequate site specific empirical and quantitative studies on the effectiveness of PFM approaches in conservation of woody species diversity and forest conservation. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the impacts of PFM on woody species diversity in selected forest user groups in Gimbo Woreda, South West Ethiopia. Vegetation data were collected from different PFM user groups and adjacent Non-PFM forest blocks. A total of 63 plots measuring 20 m × 20 m were employed to collect species composition and structural data. Data for all the sapling and seedlings were also collected within subplots of 5 m X 5 m and 2 m X 2 m respectively. Accordingly a total of 73 different woody plant species (72 at PFM and 54 at Non-PFM blocks), representing 64 genera and 35 families were recorded, with 53 species shared. Woody species diversity and evenness were higher in the forest with PFM (H´ = 3.04, E = 0.76) compared to the forest without PFM (H´ = 2.8, E =0 .70). The overall average values of sapling and seedling density were also significantly (p < .05) higher in PFM than Non-PFM forests. However, no significant variations were observed in basal area and dominance of the species between the two forest blocks. Thus it can be concluded that participatory forest management is showing signs of delivering impact in terms of woody species diversity conservation in the study area. However, there is a gap in some of forest user groups in terms of forest protection from an illegal activities. Therefore it is important to conduct further assessments in the remaining forest user group’s to have baseline data for further study and performance evaluation over all forests under PFM approaches.

Keywords: Forest User Group, Regeneration, Species diversity, Human induced disturbance.

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-6-01

Publication date:June 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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