Role of Extension Forest Officers in Forest Conservation in Cross River State, Nigeria
AbstractThe study assessed the roles of forestry extension service in forest conservation in Cross River State. The specific objectives were to: examine extension role of forest officers in forest conservation; identify forest officers’ extension training needs in forest conservation; and identify forest officers’ perceived constraints militating against forestry extension service delivery. All the forest officers under the employ of the Cross River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC) formed the population of the study. Systematic sampling technique was employed to select 78 respondents for the study. Data were collected through validated structured interview schedule. Data were analyzed using percentage and mean scores. The major effective extension role of forest officers in forest conservation were found to include, creating awareness through environmental enlightenment campaign in forest communities (M = 2.61) and dissemination of information in relation to public participation in forest conservation (M = 2.61), among other roles. Major perceived training needs of forest officers in forest conservation were sustainable forest management practices (M = 3.39), forestry extension practices (M = 3.32) and developing group participation. Major constraints to effective forestry extension service delivery were found to include inadequate funding (M = 2.97), and lack of vehicles for field staff logistics (M = 2.80). Forestry extension service delivery in forest conservation was less effective, owing to a great number of constraints militating against the service delivery in forest conservation. For the effectiveness of forestry extension services in the state, the constraints to the service delivery must be seriously considered.
Keywords: Forestry, Extension, Service, Conservation, Training, Needs, Constraints
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