This study was carried out to ascertain the perception of the people on sustainable timber utilization and management in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Three Local Government Areas (LGAs) were purposively selected from the timber producing areas of the state, and multi stage random sampling technique was employed to select a total of 150 respondents. Primary data were used for the study. Structured questionnaire was used to collect information from the respondents. Statistical and econometric tools used for analysis included mean, percentages, frequencies and exploratory factor analysis. Major causes of timber exploitation and illegal logging observed from the study were: poverty and hunger; high cost of timber products; expanding agriculture; expanding population; rapid urbanization and high cost of alterative wood products. Results of multiple regression showed that the socio-economics characteristics that influenced timber exploitation were: gender, occupation, education all significant at 5% and marital status with significance level of 1%. The perception of farmers as regards strategies that could be adopted for sustainable utilization and management of timber were: use of forest-regulators in the control of timber exploitation; creating awareness on the need for environmental protection and sustainability; emphasis on agroforestry, aforestation and reforestation programme; arresting of defaulters and subsequent charging of fines; support of research on alternative source of energy. The identified constraints to effective timber management were: lack of public awareness of timber resource management; population pressure; lack of fund to tackle the problem of unsustainable use of timber; poverty and institutional problem; limited manpower to enforce environmental laws and regulation and poor value system and moral ethics. The study recommended that the law enforcement approach should be complemented with incentive based development of alternative income earning opportunities for local people involved in illegal timber harvesting.
Key words: Sustainable, timber, utilization, exploitation, management, Nigeria.
Copyright © 2022 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0