Colonial forest conservation and local politics of natural resource control in Mbeya district, 1920-1960

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined the manner in which colonial forest conservation policies were implemented in Mbeya District and the various ways in which different groups of local people such as cultivators, pastoralists, hunters, local leaders, and traditional healers responded to the policies and their implementation. To achieve these objectives, the study drew information from both primary and secondary sources. The study was guided by the political ecology theoretical framework which broadly articulates the interconnections between nature conservation and the politics informing the use and control of natural resources. The study has revealed that colonial forest conservation practices gave colonial authorities massive control over forest resources, thus making it difficult for local people in the various localities to fully use such resources to meet their subsistence and spiritual needs. The study has also shown that, due to the importance of forests to their livelihoods, pastoralists, cultivators, hunters, and local leaders in the colonial Mbeya District resisted colonial forest conservation practices in various ways. The study has established that, using mostly hidden forms of resistance, rural people were often able to overcome many colonial forest restrictions. As a result, they continued to use forest resources throughout the colonial period, though at a reduced rate. The study concludes that colonial forest conservation practices turned forest resources in Mbeya District into a contested and politicised terrain, with different local users of the resources and colonial authorities struggling for and negotiating stakes over their control.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF SD414.T34C472)
local, Mbeya, Colonial forest, resource control, Tanzania
Chaula, P.J. (2017) Colonial forest conservation and local politics of natural resource control in Mbeya district, 1920-1960. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.