Local Community Perception on the Social Significances of Sustainable Forest Management: “The Case of Debre-Lebanos Forest, Ethiopia !
Deforestation and subsequent loss of biodiversity and the ensuing environmental crisis are the global problems that are receiving the attention of humanity. The aim of the current study was to assess the socio economic importance of the woody species, factors affecting forest conditions in the church, government and private forests. Systematic random sampling method was used in order to collect socio economic data. The forest of Debre-libanos were found to be diverse socio–economic significant in the area as indicated by 83% of the respondents. However, utilization of trees for burial ground purposes was found to be the greatest threat to the sustainability of the forest. It was noted that the forests of Debre-libanos were of great socioeconomic significance to the inhabitants of the town serving as sources of a number of benefits as confirmed by the responses of 83% of the respondents. The lowest level of human interferences from the surrounding communities was observed in the church forest, while the government forest was the most affected due to illegal tree cutting as indicated by 67% the responses. It was also concluded that the overall population structure of the Debre-libanos forest was fairly stable but some species like O. europiae need active intervention.