Title: Contribution of forest ecosystem services to the livelihood of local communities: The case of Desa’a forest, Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia

Final project
Year of publication:
forest ecosystem services, forest conservation, forest restoration, deforestation, Desa’a forest


Ecosystem services are ecosystem functions that are useful to human beings. Forests are among the ecological units providing these vital services. However, forests and their ecosystems face a variety of dangers and are being depleted at an alarming rate. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to assess the livelihood dependence of the local community on the main and selected forest ecosystem services and goods provided by the Desa’a Afromontane forests. A structured questionnaire was prepared, and qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used to collect information on the perceptions and attitudes of local people towards forest ecosystem services and goods in the Desa’a NFPA. The results revealed that the local people of the Desa’a forest are dependent on the ecosystem services and goods generated by the forest. The respondents confirmed that it has been serving as a potential source of fuelwood and other forest products for many years, thus protection and enhancement of the Desa’a forest ecosystem services is important for their livelihood. However, the forest has severely deteriorated. Therefore, the respondents were less certain that it will supply them and their descendants with the products that they will need in ten years’ time. Furthermore, a significant number of household respondents said they are willing to restore and conserve the forest. To address the challenges of deforestation and to reduce unsound use of the forest, increasing public understanding of forest ecosystem services and goods is critical. Because socio-economic variables that influence local people’s perceptions and attitudes toward forest conservation and restoration can change over time, future research should take the time dimension into account when studying local communities’ observations and attitudes toward forest ecosystem services and goods.

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