, Volume 79, Issue 5, pp 605-618
Date: 01 Jan 2014

Community perceptions of forest–water relationships in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia

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Community perception of forest–water relationship was gathered using participatory rural appraisal tools in four watersheds of the Blue Nile River Basin in Ethiopia. These were compared and contrasted with the observational records of forest cover and water flow. Upstream and downstream communities were assessed separately to check for differences in perception based on location within a watershed. The key result of the study was that people in the study watersheds had a range of perceptions about the forest–water relationship which were watershed specific. The perceptions were generally consistent with observational evidence from the same watersheds. This study highlighted the need for locale-specific approaches to land and water management in the Basin, as well as the potential value of using community perceptions to complement the observational records which can have spatial and temporal limitations.