This study aims at exploring the potential impact of forest protection on rural households' private fuel tree planting in Chiro district of eastern Ethiopia. It attempts to evaluate whether or not forest protection interventions improve rural households' private fuel wood production and indirectly contribute to reforestation and restoration of endangered wildlife. The study results revealed a robust and significant positive impact of the intervention on farmers' decisions to produce private household energy by growing fuel trees on their farm. As participation in private fuel tree planting is not random, the study confronts a methodological issue in investigating the causal effect of forest protection intervention on rural farm households' private fuel tree planting through non-parametric propensity score matching (PSM) method. The protection intervention on average has increased fuel tree planting by 4 633 (1 725%) compared to open access areas and indirectly contributed to slowing down the loss of biodiversity in the area.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1