The Importance Of Forest Resources

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Forests are among the major world ecosystems whose value lies in the goods and services they provide for the maintenance of both human and environmental welfare. Healthy ecosystems provide goods and services that are essential for human health and livelihoods, commonly known as Ecosystem Services (Costanza et al., 1997; MEA, 2005). Forests sustain major life support systems on earth and are essential for the development of social and economic sectors of many countries. This is because forests provide employment opportunities for the population, raw materials for industries and fuel wood, herbal medicine and timber for basic needs (UN-REDD Report, 2012).The rural poor in most developing countries depend on these forest resources for their livelihood…show more content…
Dependence on ecosystem services in this area is highest owing to the community’s limited alternative livelihood options coupled with fragile and risky environments. Overdependence on the forest and unsustainable utilization of the forest resources translates to considerable deterioration in terms of the ecosystem services and forest cover. Therefore, there is need to embrace sustainable forest resource utilization to safeguard the ecosystem against degradation, and thus a reliable source of goods and services for various user-groups This study was conceived on the premise that the current resource extraction approaches are unsustainable and thus compromising the ability of future generations in accessing the same resources and services. Thus, this study aimed at studying the effects of forest cover changes on the provision of ecosystem services by analyzing forest cover changes that have occurred in Katimok Forest Reserve over the last few decades, and the impacts it has had on the forest’s ability to provide ecosystem…show more content…
Syzygium guineense Wall, Olea Africana Mill., Prunus Africana Kalkman, Vitex keniaensis Turrill and the endangered Osyris tenuifolia L., 1753 among other tree species. Exotic plantations, such as Eucalyptus saligna Sm., Cupressus lucitanica Mill., Pinus patula Schiede and Grevillea robusta A,Cunn also make up the forest and they were established as early as 1970s on lands which became vacant after the eviction of illegal settlers. The forest is also home to wild animals and birds which include; Colobus angolensis P.Sclater, Papio anubis (Lesson) , Lepus capensis Linnaeus, Coturnix coturnix Linnaeus, Numida meleagris (Linnaeus) and Madoqua kirkii Günther among

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