Effectiveness of community based forest management approach in transforming local use of forest resources in Rufiji district

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University of Dar es Salaam
Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) is a new paradigm that has emerged in recent years with the ultimate goal of improving forest management and enabling local people to benefit from the conserved resources. In Tanzania, studies on forest management under CBFM have shown that forest reserves under CBFM have so far been considered successful as demonstrated by the existence of healthy forests with little disturbance. This dissertation examines the effectiveness of CBFM in transforming local utilization of forest resources in Rufiji district. The study aimed at identifying the local uses of forest resources, establishing past and present trends in local use of forest resources prior to and as a result of CBFM and determining rules and institutions involved in forest resource management. Three villages of Muyuyu, Mangwi and Umwe north in Rufiji were selected for this study. Various methods were applied in the study, including household interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussion. The study shows that two types of utilization exist in the study areas; timber forest products (TFP) and non-timber forest products (NTFP). Utilization of forest resources have been categorized in three different time periods of 1961-1980, 1981-1999 and 2000 – 2007. Whilst each time period is reported to have different scenario on local utilization, broad commonalities are notable; among others are more access to forest resources, increasing numbers of rural household trading and using forest resources and extinction of species with far more economic and social implications than an ecological tragedy. Various types of institutions govern forest resource utilization and they influence access to forest resources in the study areas. Furthermore, the study indicates that higher CBFM awareness and involvement in its activities is positively related to existing social cohesion, dependency on forest resources and the ethnic mixture. The study recognized various benefits from CBFM, such as creation of alternative employments that are not based on forest resource use, increased cash income and decrease in destructive activities such as illegal timber and building poles harvesting and charcoal preparation. Among others, the study calls for increased community involvement in forest management and clarification of land resource ownership as well as user rights as key features for sustainable management of forest resources.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF SD664.T34S52)
Community forestry, Citizen, Forest management, Citizen participation
Shadrack, S (2009) Effectiveness of community based forest management approach in transforming local use of forest resources in Rufiji district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam