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Forests and forestry organizations from the forest villagers’ perspective: a case study from Turkey

Hasan Alkan (1), Mehmet Kilic (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 4, Pages 240-247 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0999-007
Published: Mar 10, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles


The forest villages of Turkey comprise approximately 11% of the population, where people live in poverty, and have low welfare levels due to insufficient income. The livelihood of many villagers is integrally tied to the forest, and the communities have varied expectations and demands from forest resources. In recent years, local expectations have placed substantial pressures on forests resources. Therefore, the opinions, expectations, and perceptions of forest villagers in regards to forest resources are vital in forest management. Furthermore, the views from the forestry organization that manages natural resources, and forestry strategies, policies, and practices are integral to ensure local villager satisfaction, and participation in natural resource conservation objectives. The aims of this study were to evaluate villagers’ opinions regarding the surrounding forests and forestry organizations, quantify the residents’ satisfaction level with life in the forest village, and determine the influential factors responsible for the residents’ responses. Forest villagers (1059 people) living in the Sivas Directorate of Forest District participated in the study, and a questionnaire was administered in 11 villages within a field work framework to serve as a case study. Results indicated the region has very limited alternative livelihood sources, and forestry is the leading regional source of income for villagers. Therefore, residents from all 11 villages are dependent on forest resources. The questionnaire showed employment facilities were the most important forest benefits. Overall, the villagers were satisfied with available forestry jobs and other associated opportunities, however wages were considered insufficient, and workers expressed expectations for significant changes in labor safety conditions. In addition, certain prohibitions and restrictions placed on regional natural resources prevent residents from previous land-use practices, which adversely affected local opinions towards forests and forestry organizations. For example, strict forest protection measures will make obsolete the nomadic livestock breeding practices of some local villagers. This is the most common complaint directed at forestry activities, and will have an impact on the local income levels.

  Keywords


Forest Villagers, Forest Resources, Perspective, Satisfaction, Sivas Directorate of Forest District, Turkey

Authors’ address

(1)
Hasan Alkan
Faculty of Forestry, Süleyman Demirel University, East Campus, 32260, Isparta (Turkey)
(2)
Mehmet Kilic
Sivas Forest Directorate, Akdegirmen District, Niksar Street, Sivas (Turkey)

Corresponding author

Citation

Alkan H, Kilic M (2014). Forests and forestry organizations from the forest villagers’ perspective: a case study from Turkey. iForest 7: 240-247. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0999-007

Academic Editor

Paola Mairota

Paper history

Received: Mar 29, 2013
Accepted: Feb 21, 2014

First online: Mar 10, 2014
Publication Date: Aug 01, 2014
Publication Time: 0.57 months

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