AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FARMERS’ PREFERENCES FOR PARTICIPATORY MANAGEMENT OF VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK IN RWANDA

Urbanization and population growth have been the major forces driving natural forests depletion. Globally, 600 million people depend on forest resources. Specifically, 65 percent of workforce in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and 80 percent in Rwanda greatly depend on forests for subsistence agriculture. However, the economic value attached to forest management attributes, and socioeconomic and institutional factors for a participatory decision making process are not well known. Despite different interventions made with regard to conservation, there exists inadequate empirical evidence detailing forest participatory management preferences in developing countries including Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park (VNP) is a site of global importance for its biodiversity, for instance, it is home to mountain gorillas which are seen as the major source of tourism revenues in Rwanda. This is because they contribute up to 90 percent of the said revenues. This study aimed at characterizing management practices and approaches and estimate the monetary value farmers attached to the park attributes. Primary data were collected using semistructured questionnaires and a choice experiment method from 192 systematically and randomly selected farmers living at the park-adjacent corridor in the North-Western Rwanda. Descriptive statistics were applied to characterize management approaches and practices. In addition, a Conditional Logit (CL) method was used to assess the value devoted to management attributes. The results of this study revealed that erosion control, animal and crop husbandry were the major farming management practices that increased forest and farm covers. However, the use of agroforestry was low in the area. The study identified the use of untreated water sources and firewood as the main source of energy. Similarly, results indicated that farmers were willing to pay to preserve key park management attributes such as cultural heritage; park production resources; both plants and animals biodiversity and to participate in integrated decision making process. Gender, income, education level and group membership were found to significantly influence preferences. The findings on management approaches and practices provide useful insights on design of forest and land restoration programmes in Rwanda. Further, insights on farmers’ preferences are important in formulating cultural-based interventions and appropriate benefit sharing schemes. Finally, the results would guide formulation of environmental empowerment programmes that facilitate ownership in decision making as well as health and nutritional policies.


Issue Date:
Jul 07 2015
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/265680
Language:
English
Total Pages:
135
Note:
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTERS DEGREE IN AGRICULTURAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS. Advisor: Prof. Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Dr. David Jakinda Otieno




 Record created 2017-12-06, last modified 2018-01-23

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