Role of non-timber forest products in climate change adaptation by forest dependent communities in Kilolo district, Iringa, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


A study to assess the role of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) was conducted to forest dependent communities around New Dabaga -Ulongambi Forest Reserve (NDUFR) in Kilolo District as a strategy to cope with the impacts of climate change. Data were collected through household questionnaires, PRA techniques, transect walk and direct field observations. Climatic data mainly rainfall and temperature for the last 30 years were obtained from Nduli Airport weather station. Data collected through PRA tools were analysed with the help of communities and the results communicated back to local communities for rectification. The CRiSTAL 3.0 was used to synthesize information from focus group discussion on the link between climate change, NTFPs and livelihoods. Household interviews data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Logistic regression model was used to ascertain the relationships existing between the local peoples’ perception on the impacts of climate change and socio-economic factors. A total of 107 plant species were identified to be harvested by residents around NDUFR as NTFPs. The majority of the respondents (81%) perceived that there has been a change in the climate pattern due to increased temperatures and unpredictable rainfalls. The local peoples’ perceptions on temperature and rainfall patterns were in line with the available climatic data records. Agriculture was found to be the most affected livelihood activity by climate change around NDUFR. Communities living around NDUFR were found to use more than one strategy to cope with the adverse effects of climate change. About 43% of the respondents admitted to use NTFPs for subsistence and source of income as a climate change coping strategy. The study concluded that NTFPs still play a safety net role to assist communities in adverse situation such as crop failure under the current change in climate. The need to emphasis sustainable harvesting, improve processing and access to NTFPs markets is crucial.



Forest products, Forest reserve, Kilolo district, Iringa, Climate change impact, Non timber forest products (NTFPs)