Perception of Citizens toward Implementation of Urban Forestry: Case of a Local City in the Philippines
This study sought to understand how the constituents of Iligan City, a local city in Mindanao, Philippines, perceive the concept of urban forestry as necessary, beneficial and practical to be implemented. Specific objectives were to determine if there is any difference in the perception among the social types of respondents, to determine what demographic factors may have influenced their perception, to understand the reasons for such differences in perception, and to determine current constraints to urban forestry implementation. This study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data gathering using validated structured questionnaire and visualization method. The respondents were 15 years old and above, coming from four social groups, namely students, professionals, policy makers, and other citizens. The results showed that the students, professionals, and the policy makers differ in perception of urban forestry and the general importance of trees, support the implementation of the program and the materialization of urban forestry from the other citizens (include sidewalk vendors, drivers, and unemployed citizens). With regards to gender, both male and female respondents are strongly aware of urban forestry and the general importance of trees, but their perception on the materialization of urban forestry and support in its implementation in the city differs. On the support of implementation and perception on the materialization of urban forestry, there are significant differences among age groups where 26–50 years old respondents perceived urban forestry weaker than those 15–25 years old, while 51 and above years old are uncertain. Both resident and transient respondents strongly agree on the awareness, support, and materialization of urban forestry in Iligan City.
We are grateful to the Iligan City Government for allowing us to conduct this study in their jurisdiction, and to the city officials who took time to answer the questionnaires. We are also indebted to Dr. Mark Anthony Torres for helping us with the statistical analysis and Mr. Otto Jali for his help on the figures for visualization method. We thank the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation of Hiroshima University for giving us a platform and necessary resources to write this manuscript. This study was partially funded by the GELs Programme of the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Japan.
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