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Hindawi International Journal of Forestry Research Volume 2020, Article ID 2648391, 7 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2648391 Research Article Influence of Participatory Project Initiation on Sustainable Forest Management in Saboti, Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya Anthony Tabot , Ochieng Owuor, and Joash Migosi University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya Correspondence should be addressed to Anthony Tabot; email@example.com Received 11 December 2019; Revised 8 June 2020; Accepted 18 June 2020; Published 15 July 2020 Academic Editor: Nikolaos D. Hasanagas Copyright © 2020 Anthony Tabot et al. (is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Forestry related projects fail due to the lack of participation by the community during the initiation stage. (is further leads to unsustainable management of forests. (is study was undertaken to examine how participatory project initiation inﬂuences sustainable forest management in Saboti forest in Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya. Participatory Development (eory guided this study. (e explanatory research design was adopted. (e target population was 2600 community forest association (CFA) members and 15 Kenya Forest Oﬃcers. Census sampling was used in the sampling of Kenya forest Oﬃcers and simple random sampling to select community forest management members. (e sample size was 347 community forest management members and 15 Kenya forest Oﬃcers. Data were collected using questionnaires and through interview. Data were analyzed using de- scriptive and inferential statistics. Presentation of ﬁndings was carried out using tables. (ere was a signiﬁcant inﬂuence of participatory project initiation on sustainable forest management (SFM) (r = 0.700, p � 0.00). (is implies that an increase in participatory project initiation improved sustainable forest management in Saboti. Participatory project initiation had a sig- niﬁcant inﬂuence on sustainable forest management. (e community participation in initiation had a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on sustainable forest management. (ere is need for forest management to involve the community members during the initiation stage of the projects in order to achieve sustainable forest management. community development are meant to be corrected by 1. Introduction community participation . Adesida and Okunlola  assert Forests have a cultural, social, economic, and ecological value that the basis of community-based development initiatives that play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life and consisted of the involvement of the community in project supporting natural systems in the environment. (e various user design and implementation. An enabling environment for groups, including herdsmen, hunters, ﬁrewood, and pole col- sustainability is created through community participation by lectors, beneﬁt from exploiting forest resources in diﬀerent allowing users to decide on the level of services to pay, to ecosystems . Beneﬁts accrued from the forest resource enable guide essential investment and management decisions, and to the community to appreciate that resource and use it sustainably. entrust resources in support of these choices. It is advantageous to engage the community in order to Most studies on factors touching on community partici- sustainably manage the forest resource , by allowing indi- pation activities have focused on population characteristics and vidual forest users to participate in decision-making . Use of social and economic factors that aﬀect forestry management local people in forest resources is beneﬁcial when there is [9–11] and not their inﬂuence on sustainable management of ownership of the decisions made as stated by decentralization forests, (is paper seeks to bridge the knowledge gap. theory . A conducive environment for policy imple- In Tanzania, the enactment of the Forest Act of 2004 mentation through community participation is required . paved the way for the introduction of Participatory Forest (ere was a need for community participation in forest Management (PFM). Under the provisions of this Act, management  as the top-down approach inadequacies to communities residing adjacent to forests have ownership 2 International Journal of Forestry Research rights and power to share beneﬁts accruing from forest evolve since 1992 and has encouraged changes in forest conservation and management eﬀorts with the Tanzanian policy, legislation, and managerial practices around the government and other involved parties . Eﬀects of local world in keeping with the Forest Principles and Ecosystem participation in forest management are highly contested Approach. In many countries, public participation is throughout the literature, and thorough studies showing growing and wider forest management strategies have in- causal-eﬀects between community participation in forest creased [19, 20]. (e ﬁndings are also more broadly accepted management and positive outcomes are insuﬃcient . and implemented. Consequently, sustainable growth relies (e Government of Kenya took knowledge of this new on capacity building. development in setting the stage for new forest management (e promotion of PFM, as well as training, on envi- policy and the enactment of Forest Act 2005. (e Act ronmentally sound technological innovations and on bio- recognizes community involvement in forest conservation diversity conservation tools  is another communal and livelihood improvement. A study conducted by the capacity building activity. Search for alternative livelihoods Research Action in 2009 aﬃrms that the ﬁrst pilot study on seeks to support sustainable livelihoods for adjacent forest the impact of PFM through Community Forest Associations communities in a sound governance framework. (is (CFAs) on poverty reduction was conducted in 1997 at Dida governance system covers land preparation and the mapping in Arabuko-Sokoke, Coast region . of land resources by deﬁning sensitive areas, integrated forestry management, integrated forestry enforcement, and protection of the environment. 1.1. Statement of the Problem. Under the PFM arrangement, (e neighboring towns can learn how infrastructure the Community Forest Associations (CFAs) are empowered investment and village-level development create oppor- to carry out various management activities in forest preser- tunities for rural economic growth without any donor vation, while the actual access to decision-making processes, intervention during these coordinated support workshops allocation of beneﬁts, and the control of forests are entrusted . PFM includes a shared agreed plan that deﬁnes the to the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) [15, 16]. Empirical studies functions, responsibilities, powers, and beneﬁts of gov- have revealed that the CFAs under the PFM approach have ernmental and community bodies in order to promote played an indispensable role in enhancing forestry conser- sustainable forest resource management and vation practices in various water catchment towers, including conservation. the Mau complex, Kakamega forest, and Arabuko-Sokoke. Ongugo conducted a study on the roles of CFAs in the decentralization process of the Kenyan forests. In 2009, 2.2. Community Participation. According to , commu- he performed a comparative analysis study on resource nity participation in forest management has always been conservation outcome (under the National park and Forest encouraged due to the tangible and intangible beneﬁts the reserve regime) in the Mount Elgon ecosystem and estab- community gets from the forest. World Bank  deﬁned lished that a ﬂexible and community-involving system is participation as a method by which stakeholders impact more eﬀective than a rigid and community-excluding system development initiatives . Warah  describes forest in managing forest resources. management as a participatory method, in which interested Despite the establishment and existence of CFAs in the parties agree to that sets out their positions, advantages, forest, cases of illegal logging, grazing, and forest en- obligation, and authority for forest resource management croachment remain high in the area and, hence, aggravate and use . forest destruction in the Mount Elgon ecosystem. (is raises (e Indian government introduced the National Joint a concern to the extent to which the integration of com- Forest Management in 1990, which gave communities munity participation promotes eﬀective forest governance. greater responsibility, power, and rights in the management Additionally, most of the empirical studies have focused on of public forests Maharjan  in order to support their role the impact of community forest associations- (CFAs) on in forest management further. Adhikari et al.  found that forestry management on major water catchment towers such assets management and opportunities under the Nepalese as the Mau Complex, Kakamega Forest, and Arabuko- Community Forests Program are inadequate for people to Sokoke . Still, no study has been conducted to examine participate eﬀectively. the inﬂuence of community participation during initiation Adhikari et al.,  stated that due to sociocultural norms, of programmes on sustainable forest management in a greater capacity, and direct access to wealth, the higher ﬁ- relatively smaller forest area such as Saboti forest . (ere nancial beneﬁts resulting from forest products [28, 29] in was a need to determine how participatory project initiation Ethiopia encouraged households to participate. Guthiga  inﬂuences sustainable forest management in Saboti forest in has shown that sustainable forest management can be Trans-Nzoia County. implemented by incorporation of community participation into decision-making, organizing and implementing pro- cesses in the region of Ampa in Nigeria, on the level of 2. Literature community involvement in conserving natural resources. (e concept of involving communities in decision-making and 2.1. Sustainable Forest Management. Communities are implementing systems tends to improve environmental projected to have a role in the management of almost one- ethics, as societies understand that they live in the world . third of the world’s forest area . SFM has continued to International Journal of Forestry Research 3 strategic model. Participatory theorists and practitioners Tanzania has integrated communities in forest management for many years, but under small-scale arrangement. needed to develop sensitivities to cultural diversity and other particular issues that globalization theorists A study conducted by Iddi on community partici- pation in forestry management in Tanzania proposed that neglected. (e lack of sensitivity has been the cause of the local groups protect and maintain some of the forests in many projects’ diﬃculties and delays . Participatory Kilimanjaro, Rukwa, and Shinyanga. (e researchers also development theory considers development to be a process found that community-driven forests are best supported and focusing on community participation in the self-devel- eﬀectively managed by the communities concerned. Kenya opment of the communities using available resources to has a vibrant forest sector, which plays a key role in sup- guide their future development. An individual’s interests porting economic development and growth. For many years, never conﬂict with those of a group. (is approach focuses Kenya has, like other developing countries, experienced high on the idea of capacity building, sustainability, and self- suﬃciency. level of forest destruction and environmental degradation, a trend that forced the government to develop eﬀective (e key principle of participatory collective development approaches is that, from the beginning of the selection of strategies for restoring the industry. In 2008, Kenya was highly aﬀected by a lack of coherent and appropriate forest projects, all participants participate in development activities policy that enabled communities to actively participate in as priority, planning, implementation, evaluation, and forestry management programmes, according to . surveillance. It also aims to protect property ownership and (e ﬁrst case study on the role of communities in forest feasibility of services . (e society is a good way to management through CFAs in 1997 was carried out, achieve sustainable development by engagement in decision- according to , on the impact of PFM on their livelihoods making and solving issues. (is research demonstrated clearly that the community development participatory ap- in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. (e investigators also found out that, but that the neighboring communities were forced proach is useful at the grassroots level of sustainable development. to do so, and the government did not intend to engage the community in the forestry management of Arabuko-Sokoke. (e problem of forest destruction and environmental degradation was fueled by the lack of eﬀective forest policies 3. Methodology and legislation which fostered conﬂict between local com- (is study adopted an explanatory research design. (e munity and state bodies as the forest resources were scarce. explanatory research design is quantitative in nature, and hypothesis is tested by measuring the relationships between 2.3. Participatory Project Initiation. (e ﬁrst phase of a variables, and data are analyzed using statistical techniques. project’s life cycle is the initiation process. (e needs and (e target population comprised the 2600 members of the objectives of the project are identiﬁed throughout this phase. Saboti-Sosio Community Forest Association and 15 staﬀ Community members have a better understanding of their working in the Saboti forest station. Yamane’s  formula issues and may, therefore, lead to ﬁnding a sustainable was used to get a sample size of CFA members. From the solution. (e engagement of community members in the target population of 2600 community members, a sample initiation process is important as the project should be size of 347 respondents was selected. With regard to the KFS focused on the community’s needs . staﬀ, a sample size 15 was used. (e initiation of the project involves the need for as- (e study utilized census sampling techniques to select sessment, project objectives selection, project teams, and all the KFS staﬀ working with the Saboti forest station. other key project requirements. (is is an important project Simple random sampling was used to select the 347 step because it deﬁnes the project’s progress and sustain- community members. (e sampling unit was members of ability. According to Ehigiator , project startup partic- the Saboti-Sosio Community Forest Association. Primary ipation helps the project team select the most appropriate data were collected using both questionnaires and inter- intervention of the community. During this stage, the public views. Unless otherwise stated, all variables were measured participate in assessing their needs, where interventions are on a 5-point Likert scales anchored by 1 � strongly dis- developed and selected. agree/very dissatisﬁed to 5 � strongly agree/very satisﬁed. A study conducted by Titus  on the level of com- (e respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which munity participation in the conservation of natural resource they agree or disagree with various statements. (e in Akampa area, Nigeria, aﬃrms that sustainable forest questionnaire was designed to address the speciﬁc management can be realized through integration of com- objectives. munity participation in decision-making, organization, and (e interview guide contained semistructured questions that implementation processes. are based on the research questions. Piloting was conducted in Maraga et al.  researched community involvement in the Kiptogot Forest Station. (e study utilized content validity. project life activities in the Nyando basin in Kenya River. Cronbach’s coeﬃcient alpha was used to determine the reliability. Cronbach’s alpha coeﬃcient of 0.743 was obtained . After all data have been collected, coding was performed for analysis using 2.4. &eoretical Framework. (e participatory development the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS V23). Descriptive theory is adopted in this study . A growth deﬁnition, statistics and Pearson product correlation were used. aligned with a western view of success, was introduced in the 4 International Journal of Forestry Research agreed on forest-dependent people (M � 3.80; SD � 1.31) and 4. Results wages and other beneﬁts (M � 3.96; SD � 1.13). 4.1. Participatory Project Initiation. (e study sought to (e respondents agreed that the number of people establish how participatory project initiation inﬂuences who use forest resources is balanced (M � 4.00; SD � 1.13) forest management sustainably. (e respondent’s views on and children are educated about natural resource man- participatory project initiation were sought using means and agement (M � 4.01; SD � 1.05). Majority of respondents standard deviations. A total of 7 statements were used to agreed that destruction of forest was rare (M � 4.11; determine the participatory project initiation on a 5-point SD � 1.02) and people maintain spiritual links to the forest likert scale as presented in Table 1. (M � 4.15; SD � 0.93). Majority of the respondents agreed Majority of the respondents agreed that there was public that ecologically sensitive areas were protected (M � 4.35; participation during needs assessment (M � 4.092; SD � 0.72), ecological sites were protected (M � 4.25; SD � 1.229); management objectives were clearly described SD � 0.86), erosion was minimized (M � 4.30; SD � 0.91), (M � 4.293; SD � 0.922), and the objectives were clearly and there was signiﬁcant quality of water (M � 3.89; stated based on functions of the forests, (M � 4.228; SD � 1.34). From the thirteen statements used to explain, SD � 0.963). Most of the respondents agreed that committee sustainable forest management had an overall mean of members were a representation of local diversity (M � 4.194; M � 4.02; SD � 0.79. (is implies that community mem- SD � 0.995), and the contribution of all stakeholders was bers agreed with sustainable forest management in Saboti respected (M � 3.884; SD � 1.223). (e ﬁndings agreed that forest. stakeholders’ interests were recognized (M � 4.208; During the interviews, one of the forest oﬃcers stated SD � 1.130) and the baseline studies were conducted with that ‘‘Meetings are held during the initiation stage of a project consultation during development of PFMP (M � 3.946; or management plan development. All members are invited by SD � 1.196), from the seven statements used to explain KFS. &e community gives ideas which are deliberated upon participatory project initiation (M � 4.121; SD � 0.882) im- in order to come to an agreement of what are the most plying that community members agreed with participatory preferred ideas to be incorporated in the plan. &e community project initiation in Saboti forest. identiﬁes the gaps and intervention required in a participa- During the interview, one of the forestry oﬃcers stated tory manner. &e community also assists in giving baseline that “Meetings are held during the initiation stage of a project information for planning purposes. &e community baraza or management plan development. All members of the meeting is indeed the most preferred mode of project meetings. community are invited. &e community gives ideas which are We normally hold meetings on need basis, especially when we deliberated upon in order to come to an agreement of what are are starting new project.’’ the most preferred ideas to be incorporated in the plan. &e (e need to increase the number of people using forest community identiﬁes the gaps and intervention required in a services and to educate children (oﬃcially and informally) on participatory manner. &e community also assists in giving natural resource use and degradation by local communities baseline information for planning purposes.” has been poorly understood by majority of the community On the participatory project initiation, the ﬁndings in- members on sustainable forest management. Spiritual con- dicated that there was public participation during needs as- nections to nature are preserved, environmentally sensitive sessment and management objectives clearly described. (e areas have been safeguarded, especially buﬀer areas along objectives of initiation were clearly stated basing on functions waterways, ecologically important sites are protected and of the forests. (e committee members are a representation of managed accordingly, and deforestation and other types of local diversity, and stakeholders were mutually respected. (e soil degradation are reduced to a minimum. Exposure to management always recognizes the legitimate interests of forest services is seen to be equal socially, with local citizens stakeholders, and baseline studies are conducted with con- feeling secure in terms of access to resources, and reward sultation during the development of PFMP. distribution systems are seen by local populations as fair. Ehigiator  agreed with these ﬁndings that the ini- In order for sustainable forest management to be real- tiation of a project involves assessment of needs, project ized, the community within which the resource is found objective selection, project team, and other critical project must value it. (ese ﬁndings agree with the fact  that requirements. (e project’s progress and viability were community beneﬁts from the forest resource enable them to decided as this is an important stage. Members of the appreciate that resource and use it sustainably. Engagement community are always engaged in needs assessment. of community will ensure sustainability in the management of the resource. (e ﬁnding agreed with that of Mahanty, Guernier, and Yasmi  that not only emphasizes ﬁnancial 4.2. Sustainable Forest Management. (e respondents from beneﬁts but also encourages value-added research, market Saboti forest views on sustainable forest management were chain analysis, alternative forest products, and improved sought based on a scale 5 likert scale. A total of 13 items were governance in general. (is ﬁnding is consistent with forest used to explore the respondent’s views on forest manage- management. Finally, in agreement with the work of Iversen, ment, and results are presented in Table 2. (e access to Chhetry, Francis, Gurung, Kaﬂe, Pain, and Seeley , good forest resources was fair (M � 3.78; SD � 1.17), local com- maintenance of the forests also encourages nonconsumptive munity feels secure (M � 3.91; SD � 1.12), and mechanisms practices such as recreation, picnic, botanical gardens, re- for sharing beneﬁts (M � 3.80; SD � 1.28). (e respondents ligious, traditional shrines, and campsites. International Journal of Forestry Research 5 Table 1: Participatory project initiation. Mean Std. deviation (ere is public participation during needs assessment 4.09 1.23 Management objectives clearly described 4.29 0.92 Objectives are clearly stated 4.23 0.96 Committee members are a representation of local diversity 4.19 1.00 (e contribution of all stakeholders is mutually respected 3.88 1.22 Management recognizes legitimate interests of stakeholders 4.21 1.13 Baseline studies are conducted with consultation during development of plan 3.95 1.20 Mean 4.12 0.88 Table 2: Sustainable forest management. Mean Std. dev Access to forest resources is fair 3.78 1.17 Local people feel secure 3.91 1.12 Mechanisms for sharing beneﬁts 3.80 1.28 People receive employment 3.80 1.31 Wages conform to national standards 3.96 1.13 Balance people with forest resources 4.00 1.13 Children are educated on natural resource 4.01 1.05 Destruction of forest is rare 4.11 1.02 People uphold spiritual links with the forest 4.15 0.93 Ecologically sensitive areas are protected 4.35 0.72 Sites of ecological importance are protected 4.25 0.86 Erosion and other forms of soil degradation are minimized 4.30 0.91 (ere is quality supply of water 3.89 1.34 Mean 4.02 0.79 Table 3: Pearson’s correlation results. Sustainable forest management Initiation Sustainable Pearson’s correlation 1 Forest management Sig. (2-tailed) ∗∗ Pearson’s correlation 0.700 1 Participatory project initiation Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 0.000 ∗∗ Correlation is signiﬁcant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Listwise N � 294. 4.3. Correlation Results. Pearson’s correlation was carried respected. (e management recognized the legitimate in- out, and results of the correlations are presented in Table 3. terests and rights of other stakeholders, and baseline studies Findings of the study indicated that there was a signiﬁcant are conducted with consultation during development of inﬂuence of participatory project initiation on sustainable Participatory Forest management Plan (PFMP). (e study forest management (r � 0.700, p � 0.00). (is implies that an concluded that participatory project initiation had signiﬁ- increase in participatory project initiation improved the cant inﬂuence on sustainable forest management. Com- sustainable forest management in Saboti. munity participation during the initiation stage was very (is implies more participatory project initiation; there important and signiﬁcant. was an increase in sustainable forest management. It concurs with Mulwa  that community participation in need for 6. 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International Journal of Forestry Research – Hindawi Publishing Corporation
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