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Perception of forests and forest cover: impacts on status of forests in nandi hills forests, nandi county, Western Kenya

Author: 
Julius Gordon Tanui
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Forest Communities (about 28% of Kenya’s population) represent a critical section of Kenya’s overall population. Many of these people interact on a daily basis with forest resources around them. The knowledge about their perceptions and attitudes pertaining to forest resources may make it possible to contextualize their influences on sustainable management of forest resources. The missing link in this paradigm could be the inadequate or little levels of incorporation of community based forest management strategies in planning for sustainable utilization of forest resources. The incorporation of local community’s perception in forest management could therefore be fundamental in reversing the downward trends of forest loss. It is assumed that people are a product of their environment, therefore it can be insinuated that the perception of forest utilization by the forest communities is based on their interactions, traditions, values and attitudes. This paper therefore examines the perceptions of the Kalenjin community living around Nandi Hills Forests (NHFs) and how their perceptions have influenced the utilization practices of NHFs. The study investigates cultural constructs that have had a bearing on the perception and use of these forests and the role of traditional and religious practices.

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