In most African countries, forest-based climate change intervention initiatives such as the
nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and national adaptation programme of
actions (NAPAs) are widely accepted. This is mainly due to the fact that they are relevant in
addressing multiple challenges associated with rural development, mitigation and adaptation
to climate change, and sustainable forest management. However, there are concerns about the
implications of strategic and practical steps taken in this context on forest-dependent
communities. Thus, there is need to reconcile local socio-economic vulnerabilities and forestbased
climate change intervention initiatives. In the current study, socio-economic factors
influencing households’ dependence on forest resources and associated implications on
climate change interventions were investigated. Proportionate stratified random sampling was
used to select 366 households from forest-based rural communities in Vhembe District of
South Africa. A structured questionnaire was administered to household heads in 21 villages.
The Pearson Chi-square test was used to analyse the factors that influence household
dependence on forest. The effects of household socioeconomic characteristics on households’
forest dependence influencing factor were determined using the binary logit model. Up to 97 % of the respondents depended on the forest resources predominantly because of low costs
associated with using them. It was observed that socio-economic characteristics of
households such as farm husbandry skills, years of residence (53-65) in the community and
age of respondents (≤ 38-65) significantly (P < 0.05) influenced use of the forest resources.
Thus, effectiveness and sustainability of forest-based climate change intervention initiatives
can be promoted if the socio-economic conditions prevailing within households in areas next
to forests are improved.