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Forest incomes and poverty alleviation under participatory forest management in the Bale Highlands, Southern Ethiopia

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There is an increasing interest in understanding the role forest products and forest resource management in rural livelihoods and poverty reduction strategies. This study investigates the contribution of forest resources to the livelihoods of rural households under a participatory management arrangement in southern Ethiopia. Data were collected through key informant interviews, group discussion, and household surveys from a total of 350 households. Income data were collected in four separate seasons at intervals of three months. The result indicates that forest products are the most important sources of income contributing to 34 and 53 of household per capita income and per capita cash income, respectively. Forest income also helps 20 of the population to remain above the poverty line. Forest income reduces inequality (Gini coefficient) by 15.5. In general, the result confirms the importance of forest income in poverty alleviation and as safety nets in times of income crisis.
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Keywords: Forest user groups; Household income; co-management; forest dependency; rural livelihoods

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Products, Swedish university of Agricultural sciences, P.O.Box 7060, SE-750-07, Vallvgen 9A, Uppsala, Sweden. 2: Centre for International Forestry Research, Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia.

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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