Policies and Institutions Governing Unreserved Forests: Forest Sustainability in Practice in Tanzania

Authors: Fadhili Bwagalilo*, St John's University of Tanzania
Topics: Environment, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Environmental Perception
Keywords: Partnership, Forest sustainability, open area, village land forest reserve
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Governance of forest land in Tanzania is vested under different stakeholders, including the state, local and village governments, community organizations and private individuals. Their roles and scope in forest governance are explicitly defined in existing forest policies and institutions. However, at the landscape level, controversies shadow the governance of open areas (unreserved village forest lands). Both state institutions and the community at the village level have a management stake in unreserved forests. While the Tanzania Forest Service Agency eyes these forest for revenue collection, villagers look at it as an opportunity for farmland expansion, collection of forest products and settlement growth. This paper provides a critique of the management controversy between communities and the state regarding open area forests and the threat it places on their sustainability. Drawing from recent fieldwork in Kilwa district, including key informant interviews, focus group discussions and transect walks, the paper provides empirical evidence of the threat to forest sustainability from a landscape mosaic approach.

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