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Dr Farhad Ghasemi Aghbash, Sara Falahi,
Volume 3, Issue 2 (3-2017)

Background and objectives: The recent movements opposing deforestation are indicative of the fact that in most programs carried out, less attention has been paid to the socio-economic status of the local people. In extensive deforestation, rural communities play a significant role. Therefore, this study examines the role of economic and social factors in the destruction of the forests of the Oulad Ghobad regions.Materials and methods: This research was carried out as a field study, using a questionnaire. The population comprised 398 families living on the outskirts of the Saman-e Orfi Forest in the Oulad Ghobad region. Out of this population, 150 families were randomly chosen, using Cochran’s sample size formula. Furthermore, 40 questionnaires were distributed among the officers of Lorestan Natural Resources Office. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire established by a pre-test and Cronbach's alpha were 0.83 for local people and 0.705 for officers, respectively.Results: The findings showed that from the viewpoints of both officers and local people, human factors (such as lack of agricultural lands, conversion of forests into agricultural lands by forest dwellers, poverty and and low income, and high unemployment rate) contribute more to deforestation, compared to natural factors (such as drought and forest fire). As for prioritizing human and natural factors contributing to deforestation, the results showed that according to local people, lack of agricultural lands (mean rank of 7.58), and according to officers, conversion of forests to agricultural lands by foresters (mean rank of 11.25) were the main contributing factors. In addition, the results showed that there was a significant negative relationship between income and the factors contributing to deforestation (P <0.001).
Conclusion: In general, the results showed that human factors have a significant effect on the deforestation of the Oulad Ghobad region of Koohdasht and  the role of human factors is more conspicuous compared to natural factors.

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