keywords: Constituency, forest offences, Kurmi LGA, poverty
Forest resources are lost every year in Kurmi Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State. This loss has been attributed to various forms of forest offences. However, these various forms of forest offences are not documented. Therefore, an assessment of forest offences in KurmiL.G.A of Taraba state was investigated. Seven forest offences were identified: illegal felling of trees (18.9%), illegal farming (17.1%), setting of fire in the forest (16.6%), illegal collection of NTFPs (16%) and hunting in a forest reserve (11.4%), felling of undersized trees (10.3%) and unlawful installation of saw mills and other wood processing machines (9.7%). Similarly, factors such as weak penalties, poverty, shortage of manpower, lack of motivation of forestry staff and insufficient supply of forest resources to meet people’s demand with odds ratio 19.53, 3523.51, 5359.12, 245.67 and 253.69 were found to promote forest offences in the study area. Percentages of the various methods for checking forest offences were: frequent patrol (16%), imprisonment (14.3%), strict legal actions (14.3%), educating the rural people on the importance of forestry to the environment (12.6%) and mounting of check points (11.4%), joint forest management (11.4%), compounding of forest resources (10.3%) and payment of fines (9.7%). The study recommended government intervention in terms of transportation, equipment, communication and financial support for the forestry staff in the study area.
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