Socio-economic factors influencing household forest dependency in Chobe enclave, Botswana
Thakadu, Olekae Tsompie
PublisherSpringer Link, https://link.springer.com/
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Introduction: Human dependence on forests is a multifaceted phenomenon. The degree of reliance on forests varies geographically, overtime and across communities. These dynamics underpin the importance of understanding the determinants of household reliance on forests for the long-term sustainable forest management and conservation. This paper presents an analysis of socio-economic determinants on the level of household forest dependency in Chobe enclave, Botswana. The study hypothesised that the level of household forest dependency will significantly differ across a range of socio-economic factors. Methods: Data was collected through a structured questionnaire survey of 183 households, randomly selected from three communities bordering Chobe Forest Reserve. Binary logistic regression model was used for analysing data. Results: Results showed that age and education significantly influenced household reliance on forests, while other socio-economic factors were not significant. Forest dependency was observed to be decreasing with an increase on both respondent age and educational level. Therefore, the youth were likely to be more reliant on forest products compared to their elderly counterpart while higher educational attainment lessened reliance on forest products. Conclusion: In order to foster a balance between forest dependency and biodiversity conservation, alternative opportunities and provision and access to higher education aimed at diversifying young people's livelihood activities are vital in reducing forest dependency, hence protecting forests for posterity.
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