DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING FOREST ECOSYSTEM EXPLOITATION AND MANAGEMENT IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA.
Anim O. Ajake, Enang, E.E.

Abstract
This study examined the demographic and socio-economic attributes affecting forest resource exploitation and management in the rural communities of Cross River State. Data were collected through questionnaire survey and participatory research methods. These data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, regression analysis and one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The result of the analysis shows that exploitation and management of forest resources in the rainforest significantly affected positively and negatively by demographic and economic factors. Regression analysis indicated a low positive relationship between demographic factors such as active age of the population household and number of literate population with the quantity of the forest products harvested. The findings also show that increased household size and low level of literate population greatly influenced the quantity of forest products gathered. In addition, the study revealed a significant difference in the income of rural people from the different occupations and that forest-based activities were adjudged to have attracted more income to the people. Based on these findings, a number of mitigating measures were suggested for adoption such as access to higher education, capacity building of forest people, alternative income generation opportunities, reduction of household sizes and female participation in forest management.

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