Site and situation specific assessments of ecosystem services are crucial to sustainably conserve and manage the Chilmo forest. In this specific study, an attempt has been made to identify how local communities depend on Ecosystem services and on other stakeholders involved in sustainable forest management. The study triangulated primary data collection methods such as field observations, household surveys and key informant interviews. Secondary data was also used to support and verify the primary data. SPSS version 20 software and Microsoft excel were then applied to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of the study population’s households. Data collected through discussions and observations was analyzed qualitatively. Four forest ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, habitat and cultural services) were identified in the study area. Even though agriculture is the main economic activities, sample respondents earn money from diverse sources such as from homestead, wood lots, honey production, petty trade and from the selling of timber and non -timber forest products, from forest dividends and other forest related employment. Chilmo forest, on average, contributes more than a third of total annual income of the sample households. Surprisingly, almost all sample respondents participate in fuel wood collection, both for household consumption and market. Similarly, fuel wood collection generates the highest income, compared to other activities, because fuel wood is the sole source of energy in the study area. Therefore, provisioning services are the main source of livelihood and subsistence incomes for local communities. The findings greatly contribute towards the management of the Chilmo forest and will be used as input for further valuation work.
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