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Quantification of monetary losses due to illegal pitsawing in Budongo Forest, Uganda

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The paper examines the financial implications of both abandoned and destroyed wood by illegal pitsawers in Budongo Forest, Uganda. It also compares the intensity of pitsawing in the Strict Nature Reserve (SNR) and the forest edge as well as the species and diameter classes of trees most affected. The total wastage of round wood was found to be 0.218 m3/ha/yr and 0.098 m3/ha/yr in the SNR and forest edge respectively. This is about a third of the mean annual increment per hectare per year for tropical moist forests. The present value of monetary losses in the SNR and forest edge were UGX 30 000 /ha/yr and UGX 17 814/ha/year respectively; with Mahogany species as the most affected. There was no significant loss of wood between the SNR and the forest edge and no significant diameter variations in the illegally pitsawn trees within and between the different pitsawing sites. More trees were pitsawn at the forest edge as compared to the SNR, although a larger volume of wood was harvested in the SNR. There is a need to enforce effective forest regulations governing SNRs; and foster a functional working relationship between the National Forestry Authority and local communities around the forest in the management of the SNR.
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Keywords: illegal extraction; illegal logging; monetary value; wood volume

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda. 2: Department of Community Forestry and Extension, Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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