Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are a significant cause of socio-ecological change in Sri Lanka. Many studies have focused on the ecological dimensions of this problem, but few have addressed sociological factors such as the knowledge and perceptions of individuals and groups tasked with addressing IAPs. This study investigates how IAP issues are understood and perceived by professional forest and wildlife officers in Sri Lanka. The data analyzed were gathered using a questionnaire that covered three themes: the respondents’ ability to identify IAPs, the impacts of IAPs and the threats they pose, and knowledge regarding control and mitigation. The questionnaire was completed by 186 field officers, and the resulting descriptive statistics and a probit regression analysis were used to analyze the data. The results show that almost all of the participating forest and wildlife officers were aware of the problems associated with IAPs but more than 75% of them lacked an accurate understanding of scientific means for controlling them and control policies established by the government of Sri Lanka. Generally, wildlife officers had a better understanding than forest officers. In addition, the analysis shows that officers’ knowledge and perceptions of IAPs were positively correlated with their level of education and position within the organization. The analysis points to several recommendations for Sri Lankan officials when designing and implementing comprehensive policies and professional programs, particularly for lower-level field officers.
The contribution of local communities has become widely recognized as a better alternative in forest management than the traditional command-based control approach. However, several years later of implementation, most programs were failed due to a lack of community participation, imposing an uncertain future for community forestry. This paper examines rural Sri Lankans’ participation intention in community forestry (CF) program by using the Probit regression model. Randomly selected 300 individuals representing both CF members and non-CF members were interviewed for the study. The study results indicate that rural residents’ intention in future CF program negatively correlated with the participation status (CF membership) of individuals. Accordingly, CF members show less participation intention in future CF program than non-CF members. Socio-economic variables such as education level (p < 0.01) and the occupation of head of the household (p < 0.05) and total household income (p < 0.01) have significant influences on individuals’ participation intention in CF. In addition, non-monetary benefits derived from CF and perception on the product regulation and conflict mitigation are also appeared to significantly and positively affect villagers’ intention. The findings also revealed the knowledge gap on the purpose of the CF program and CF policy design. Hence, require immediate attention to improve awareness. Moreover, failure to raise local people’s participation intention in CF may indicate inadequate or ineffective government policies. Therefore, the Department of Forest Conservation should take sound measures to ensure that community-based forest management policies are consistently implemented at different administrative levels across the country and its rightness should be evaluated strictly.
IntroductionFor Pakistan, as a developing country, agriculture is considered the backbone of the economy. Approximately, 63.6% of Rural Pakistanis are directly or indirectly related to the agriculture sector. The share of agriculture to GDP is 18.5 % and of total 42.3%are employed in this sector. However, agriculture sector is hit hard by many ecological factors such as land degradation, climate change and water scarcity . When crops fail, majority of rural people rely on forest resources for their livelihoods and most of them use trees on farms to generate food and cash. Moreover, many countries in the developing world including Pakistan draw on fuel wood to meet as much as 90%
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