Assessment ofthe Forest Based Livelihoods ofMejengir Community and Trends in Forest Resource Utilization: The Case of Godere District, Gambella Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


77,is Ihesis has Iried 10 analyze some salient aspecis afforest based livelihoodl' wilh special emphasis 0 11 trellds ill foresl IIlilization, access to fo resl reSOllrces, and Ihe dil 'l!rse lil'elihood struteKies pllrslled h)' the local cOl1lmllllity. The stlldy Illas condllcted in (jodere Wereda of J'vlejengir lone (Camhella Regional State), Fi"Om ninetem kebeles in Ihe Wereda, Ihree Iliere plllfJosively se/ecled on Ihe basis of some keyjllslificalions slIch as severity <if de/ixeslalioll, availabilily of illegal selliemeni alld inveslmenl and expansion (jf agricllltllral praclices and relative physical accessibililY, Simple random selection (?f hOllsehold members IIsing 10llelY melhod was employed proportional 10 Ihe size of each silldy Kehele, Overall, 90 Sample hOllsehold, (20% ()f the total sample size) were cOllsidered /01' the sllIdy. So a.'}' /0 geJlerate ample iJ~formalioll. methudological mixes (combination <il qllanlilative and qllalitative dala colleclion lechniqlle,l) were employed. Thefilldings of Ihe stlldy show Ihal Mejengirs are predominanlly foresl dependent and Ihe ,/in'esl is Ihe principal livelihood assels from which Ihey derive major share of Iheir cash income and hOllsehold conSllmplion Among the differelll NTFPs oblainedfi"Oll1 Ihe .Iin'est, honey prodllction \l'as reported as an importanl livelihood aClivily performed by Ihe majorily. Nonetheless, the fo rest is facing seriolls encroachment dlle to some key sociol, economical and political faclors, These faclors incillde: illegal investment and sellieme/JI, commercial logging, expansion of agricullure al/dfire (Ihi[ting cultivalion), This has, Iherefore, brollghl abolll profollnd negalive effect on the livelihood of Ihe people and resllited in redllction in qllamity and '11ICllily c:f NTFPs (honey). Regarding the medialing factors (1"/i'lIctllres and processes) Ihat facililate or rest min peoples' access 10 foresl, Ihe findings evidenced Ihal cllltllre, governmental laws Clnd poliCies and private il/veslors, Even if the local people have open access loforests, the stlldy showed that Ihey are confronted with dimillishing (inadeqllale) foresl resollrces not 10 achieve a desired alld sllsiaillable livelihood Ollicome, 17ms, Ihey were forced 10 ,,'Ieadify shi[tto other livelihood portfolios rather Ihan relying merely on colleclion of N7TPs, Not sllljJrisingly, Ihese porlfolios of income are also dependenl 011 the foresis at leasl 10 some exlenl, il is dlle 10 the cOlllinlled dependence on Ihe foresl Ihal Ihe commllnily solicils for Ihe inlervenliollS of the governmenl and NCOs so as to have secllred access /0 s/ ~fflcie/ll .foresl resource. Ovemll, Ihe sllIdy sllbstanlialed Ihalllllwiseforestlllilizalioll pallerll ill Ihe area resllited ill IIl1desired (l7eKalive) livelihood olltcomes in which hOllsehold., are confi'ollied with IIlIimpl"Ol 'ed livelihood, redllced illcome, illcreased vllillerabilily alld IlIlslIstaillable Nil lise. Accordillgl)" il is recommellded thai concerned slakeholders need to exert pammolllli efforl to im/Jrove Ihe livelihood, c:f Ihe commllnily in a sllslaillablemallller.This call be materialized hy promoting pro poor poliCies and legislaliolls Ihal emphasize 011, amollg OIII1!r.\", cremillg altemative livelihood SOllrces alld desigllillg sllstaillable alld participotOlyforest IItilizalioll, mallagemellt alld cOllservalioll scheme,



Livel ihoods of Mejengir Community