Greener Journal of Agronomy, Forestry and Horticulture Vol. 2 (1), pp. 001-007, February 2014.
ISSN: 2354-2306 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 1209131017
Challenges and Outlooks of Forest Communities to Institutional Support in South-South, Nigeria
Olaleye S. M.
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, River State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: sele.olaleye @yahoo .com, sele.warizeribe @uniport .edu.ng
The forest, being naturally occurring vegetation, requires planning and management by diverse groups of stakeholders and managers for its preservation. This involves harnessing the rural people’s interest in forest utilization as well as pit-falls of unsuccessful NGOs or extension officers. Inadequate sustainable planning and management initiatives accounts for the challenges and threats on the natural resources and human lives. There is need for checks and balances between challenges and outlooks at the people’s disposal.
The challenges focuses on lack of sustainability for future generation, increased production, encouraging reforestation, preventing excessive silvicultural practice (pruning and pest control) and species adaption. Though active participatory and sustainable use may be best left to the rural dwellers in the forest whose needs and opinions are first considered but institutional support strengthens their efforts by enhancing their outlooks. Outlooks observed from the rural dwellers were lack of awareness of forest management activities, interest to plant trees, active age class (21–60yrs), local policy, highest monthly income of below N15,000, lack of proper storage and packaging, innovation, market price control, year round marketing, improvement of road network and small scale factory for institutional support. The way forward is integrated conservation, empowerment of the active age grades, gender roles, indigenous knowledge, study of the total economic value of sustainable forestry activities and strong partnership with forestry agencies or organizations.
However, evaluation and monitoring of local and institutional policies from time to time would create a sense of belonging for financial commitment, continual cooperation, poverty alleviation and sustainable management.
Keywords: Institutional support, Forest extension, Innovation, Forest exploitation, Active age class