The term “Non Timber Forest Products” (NTFPs) encompasses all biological materials other than timber, which are extracted from forests for human use (De Beer, 1989). They constitute an important source of livelihoods for most rural people around the world as part of subsistence, cash income and a vital livelihood safety net in times of hardship.

However, due to depletion of NTFPs resources through indiscriminate exploitation, agricultural investment, demographic factors, deforestation, and forest degradation that rural based livelihoods, economics return and biodiversity are heavily affected. For that reason, the study was attempted to examine the trends in availability of NTFPs in baro-akobo riverine forest, Itang Special District, Gambella, Ethiopia. Generally, the study was carryout to explore the trends of availability of NTFPs and socio-economic status in the past and present. Beside, purposive sampling technique was used to make study easy with 4 sampled riverine forest kebele’ sites namely Pulkhot, Puldeng, Baziel and Leer. On contrary, GIS and Remote Sensing application were carryout to detect the changes of LULC that occurred in 1986 to 2016. In achieving this, LANDSAT satellite images were acquired through Google earth navigation (down loaded from website address http://www.earthexplorer.usgs). In addition, socio-economic data were acquired from the social survey by using structured questionnaires for KIs, FGDs, and HH interview with 150 people in four kebeles. Furthermore, the quantitative and qualitative data analysis was accomplished by tools such as Arc-GIS, Erdas imagine, excel and presented in inform of tables, graphs, figures and maps. As the results, the LULC finding indicated that riverine forest cover is decreasing from time to time due to anthropogenic factors. For example, between 1986 to 2016 almost 1499.22 ha of riverine forest land was converted to others land uses. Most respondents also explained that they engaged in extracting more NTFPs fuelwood, honey bee, bushmeat, edible fruits,forage and spice because it were difficult to obtain permit in order to have timbers. The interview result on the driving forces assessment revealed that the LULC in riverine forest are mainly driven by a combination of instutional, demographic, economic, and biophysical factors. In summary, the researcher identified how NTFPs extraction had sustainable helped local community in fulfilling various socio-economic benefits in the last 3 decades. However, a lack of strong capacity of the forestry sector, coupled with lack of awareness about forest resources management in the past years and ineffective forest policies implementation caused forests destruction and dynamics. Therefore, in order to keep the sustainability of the NTFPS from those changes there must be integration of stakeholders’ organization, awareness creation of the community, as well as participatory forest management approach in riverine forest of the study area.

Keywords: availability; Trends; non-timber forest products; riverine forest; baro-akobo


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National Measuring, Reporting and Verification Capacity Building Towards Climate Resilient Development in Ethiopia.

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