Attitudes of local communities towards forest management practices in Uganda: the case of Budongo Forest Reserve
Abwoli, Y. Banana
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Positive attitudes of local communities towards forest management practices are an essential prerequisite for local participation in forest management. In Budongo Forest Reserve, local communities have negative attitudes towards forest management practices because of the strict rules on forest resource utilization. For a long time local people have had restricted access to extract traditional non-timber forest products from Budongo Forest Reserve and were not given timber-felling licenses. This denied them the benefits of timber business and resulted in mistrust, antagonism and conflicts with the Forest Department. A study of 200 households showed the associations between socio-economic features of people living close to the forest and their use of forest resources and demonstrated the basis of attitudes towards those managing the forest. Since Uganda is going through the process of democratic reform and decentralisation of public administration, it is felt that local communities could be empowered to co-manage and benefit from forest resources in their vicinity.