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Forests 2018, 9(3), 150; doi:10.3390/f9030150

Community Forestry for Livelihoods: Benefiting from Myanmar’s Mangroves

1
BFH-HAFL—School for Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Länggasse 85, 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
2
RECOFTC—The Center for People and Forests, P.O. Box 1111, Kasetsart Post Office, 10903 Bangkok, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 17 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

It is well known that in many rural communities in the developing world, forests, particularly those under community management, are important for people’s livelihoods. However, studies on the contribution of forests to the income of different households within a community are rare, including the poorest households and how non-members of the community forestry user group (CFUG) benefit from those resources. This paper compares livelihood strategies and the use of a mangrove CF by different community members in Myanmar. Utilizing a livelihoods approach, data were collected through a household survey (n = 110) and various participatory tools. The significance of CF for people’s livelihoods was clearly demonstrated, with as many as 91% of households depending on CF products to varying degrees. Livelihood strategies are largely determined by financial assets and road access. Strategies include large levels of dependence on natural resources such as homegardens and CF. Substantial differences were found for CF’s contribution to total income depending on CF membership (p = 0.004) and wealth (p = 0.022). Non-members benefit mostly through subsistence products. The poorest households were found to get the highest income shares (36%) from CF. This leads to the conclusion that with an inclusive process to membership, CF has the potential to reduce poverty. View Full-Text
Keywords: community forestry; livelihoods; mangroves; membership; Myanmar community forestry; livelihoods; mangroves; membership; Myanmar
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Feurer, M.; Gritten, D.; Than, M.M. Community Forestry for Livelihoods: Benefiting from Myanmar’s Mangroves. Forests 2018, 9, 150.

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