Effectiveness of co-management in reducing forest dependency and improving socioeconomics of forest dependent people in Bangladesh

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Suriya Yeasmin
Kazi Nazrul Islam
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0222-5900
Mohammed Jashimuddin
Mohammad Mahfuzur Rahman
Anirban Chowdhury Jiku

Abstract

Abstract. Yeasmin S, Islam KN, Jashimuddin M, Rahman MM, Jiku AC. 2022. Effectiveness of co-management in reducing forest dependency and improving socioeconomics of forest dependent people in Bangladesh. Asian J For 6: 56-64. Co-management of forest protected areas (PA) has started its journey in Bangladesh, intending to conserve forest resources by creating alternative income-generating activities for forest-dependent people. This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of co-management initiatives in improving socio-economic status and reducing peoples' forest dependency at Dudpukuria-Dhopachari Wildlife Sanctuary (DDWS), Bangladesh. A total of 142 respondents consisting of 71 co-management project-supported people (treatment) and 71 local people (control) with similar socio-economic conditions without any project support, were surveyed randomly through a semi-structured questionnaire. The Difference in Differences (DiD) method was applied to assess the effectiveness of this program. Results revealed that there was an insignificant difference between co-management participants and non-participants in the case of total income. Both parties also observed a similar trend for total forest resource extraction. However, the monthly income of co-management participants from secondary occupations increased by USD 16.46. In contrast, the monthly fuel wood extraction of the co-management participants was reduced, equivalent to USD 2.21. The studied socio-economic parameters were more or less similar for both parties. We conclude that the co-management interventions in DDWS resulted from insignificant differences in terms of socio-economic conditions and forest dependency of local forest-dependent communities.

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