Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of the Vegetation Resources on the Islands of Lake Ziway, South-Central Ethiopia


The study was conducted on the islands of Lake Ziway, south-central Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to investigate the socio-economic factors affecting the vegetation resources and the indigenous resource management systems and practices on the islands. Data were collected by field observations, interviews and group discussion. The island communities were engaged in diverse economic activities. The fishing industry was the main pillar of the economy as most of the income (75.7%) was derived from this sector. The existence of diverse economic activities had relieved the pressure on the vegetation resources. The natural vegetation was the major source of fuelwood, construction material, farm implements, edible fruits, medicines, fodder and bee forage. The islanders have maintained the soil and vegetation resources for centuries through their environmental friendly resource management systems and practices. At present, however, the vegetation resources are dwindling due to free livestock grazing, farmland expansion, soil erosion and tree cutting for various purposes, all of which are driven by human population growth. Since the islanders have high respect and trust for the church, integrating environment and development issues with this institution would be more effective. The prevailing natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the vegetation resources on the islands necessitate effective conservation and management interventions.

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Zegeye, H. , Teketay, D. and Kelbessa, E. (2014) Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of the Vegetation Resources on the Islands of Lake Ziway, South-Central Ethiopia. Natural Resources, 5, 864-875. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.514074.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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