Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 195

Full Length Research Paper

Is participatory forest management (PFM) an asset or liability to local community households adjacent to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Kenya?

Matiku Paul1*, Mireri Caleb2 and Ogol Callistus2
  1Nature Kenya, P. O. Box 44486, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 2Kenyatta University, P. O. Box 43844, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 February 2012
  •  Published: 28 April 2012



The study examined the impact of participatory forest management (PFM) on the wealth of households living adjacent to Arabuko–Sokoke Forest (ASF). The study question was “is PFM an asset or liability to local communities living adjacent to ASF”. The study hypothesized that PFM areas have higher household wealth than non-PFM zones. Between 2008 and 2009, questionnaires were used to collect data in PFM and non-PFM zones. Data on wealth parameters were collected.  Data was collected up to 5 km from forest hedge along 10 km transects sampling 600 households. The results showed that in the PFM zones, community benefits arising from PFM have translated into improved household wealth. The PFM zones have households who have higher levels of education, food reliability and better housing. The non-PFM zones showed frequencies of households that have no crop field, always have insufficient food, do not own a cow, goat or chicken and have no house or are headed by females. There is need to carry out more studies on the impacts of PFM on gender and household headship. The study concludes that PFM is a critical forest conservation tool that should be implemented in non-PFM zones.


Key words: Participatory, forest, management, household, benefit, cost, Arabuko–Sokoke.