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The study assessed compliance with forestry laws among rural farmers in rural forest communities of Plateau State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of this study were to; describe the socio-economic characteristics of the rural forest farm families in the study area, examine the level of awareness of forestry laws in the study area, ascertain the level of compliance with forestry laws in the study area and identify the perceived constraints to forestry laws compliance in the study area. The population of the study consists of all the farmers in the rural forest communities of Plateau State. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a total number of 216 respondents for the study. Data for the study was garnered using structured questionnaire designed in line with objectives of the study. Analysis of the data was done using descriptive statistics and five point likert rating scale. Log it regression was used to test the hypothesis of the study. Findings revealed that the mean age of the farmers was 39 years with majority (61.0%) of them being male. The result also revealed that 85.0% of the respondents were married with majority (57.0%) of the respondents having non-formal education. The average household size of the respondents was 7 persons and average farm size of 2.5 hectares. The result further shows that only 49.0% of the farmers had contact with extension agents between 1 and 5 times in the last one year. Results indicate that farmers’ level of compliance with forestry laws in the study area was poor. The few forestry laws complied with in the study area were: law prohibiting the pasturing or grazing of cattle in the forest reserve (X=3.02), law prohibiting the erection of buildings or roads in the forest reserve (X=3.85) and law prohibiting kindling of fire in the forest reserve (X=3.54).Constraints to compliance with forestry laws includes; Perceived lack of fairness of tree tenure (79%), lack of alternative economic opportunities (87%), as a constraint to forest law compliance in the study area, lack of awareness of forest laws (71%), increased demand for agricultural land (42%), general lack of perceived legitimacy (33%), Corruption in government institutions (28%) and weak law enforcement (5%). The null hypothesis was rejected. The study recommends that, a zero tolerance policy on non-compliance with forestry laws should be put in place to checkmate indiscriminate exploitation of forest resources.
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