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Legal issues in community forest management in Lushoto district: Case studies and recommendations

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: Laura Hitchcock

This paper is a follow up to a technical legal analysis of options for sustainable forest management by the World Resources Institute and the German Organization for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in 1995. The GTZ/ Soil Erosion Control and Agroforestry Project (SECAP) worked on soil conservation issues in Lushoto, Tanzania since 1984. The initial analysis suggested that Tanzania's existing legal framework was supportive of sustainable and community management of forests and noted that various legal arrangements could be established to strengthen community management of forests of differing management classification. This follow-up study derives from specific case studies of the different management categories of forests in the district aimed at determining whether the legal arrangements are both practical and necessary. The study examines existing legal structures and considers possibilities that exist in each case to legally strengthen community involvement and achieve sustainability. Three case studies with different management and legal issues are presented. The study notes that villagers would like to protect their forest but at the same time reap benefits from them. Some communities are not aware of their legal rights or of the current legal structures for forest management. Discussion with community and district staff showed the existence of mutual distrust. Because attitudes and knowledge take time to change, the author recommends that education, planning, oversight and careful follow-up should accompany efforts towards increased community involvement. Legal agreements made should be entered for a trial period, after which careful evaluation should be made as to the state of the forest and any problems encountered in management. Lastly the author cautions that the legal process be adopted and proceed slowly for all people involved to understand and make real commitments to its success.

Author(s): Laura Hitchcock

Publication Date: 1995

Location: Africa, Tanzania

Download File from Portal: PNACA797 Tanzania.pdf — PDF document, 3,076 kB (3,150,671 bytes)

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