In many tropical regions, rural households often depend on forests for cash income, but there is still little knowledge on how forest use strategies differ among people living in different locations. This study aimed to detect differences in forest use strategies and forest cash income dependency between households living outside and inside selectively logged production forests, known as Reserved Forests (RFs), in Bago Township, Myanmar. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 146 and 48 households living outside and inside the RFs, respectively. The inside-households (encroachers) had a much higher forest cash income dependency (83%), with charcoal production as the main forest use activity, than the outside-households (32%), with bamboo cutting as the main activity. Higher forest dependency was found for outside-households that had less farmland, better accessibility to forest and more recognition of prohibited access to RFs in forest law. This study revealed evidence of substantial forest use for commercial purposes in RFs by households living both inside and outside the RFs, despite local recognition of the illegality of the use. Implementing community forestry practices for local communities may be a better option to reduce illegal dependence on selectively logged production forests.
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