Int. J. Biosci.22(2), 239-247, February 2023
This study examined the adaptive strategy of countryside residents by Okomu National Park, Edo State during Covid-19 lockdown. Multistage sampling was used to select 150 respondents from five support zone community around the park and twenty staff of the park. Information on forest-based activities and encroachment level before and after covid-19 lockdown was obtained using two sets of questionnaire. A 5-point likert scale ranked forest based activities; regression analysis determined the effect of socio-economic variable on involvement in forest based activities, 3-point scale ranked encroachment level while t-test tested for significance in encroachment level before and after the lockdown. Married (67.3%) young adults of 31-50 oldness (82.0%) dominated the community with 70.0% farmers with no personal land (58.0%). Farming (4.28±0.06), logging (3.59±0.10), hunting (2.95±0.09); and logging (4.80±0.14), hunting (4.80±0.14) and farming (3.40±0.23) dominated the forest-based activities by community and staff respectively. Regression analysis shows that increase in monthly income and education reduced involvement in forest-based activities. Encroachment level before and after lockdown was 1.89±0.06 and 2.39±0.06 (community); and 2.15±0.13 and 2.85±0.08 (staff), respectively. Significant difference was observed in encroachment level (-0.5±0.05-community and -0.7±0.02-staff) before and after covid-19 lockdown. Education of residents and adoption of agro-forestry in buffer zone to ensure residents’ farmer accessibility to land is recommended to minimize the destruction of the park.
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