Forest Reform in Tanzania: A Review of Policy and Legislation

Community participation in forest management has existed in the United Republic of Tanzania for a long time, but on a small scale. It is common to find trees of certain species are being protected and managed for traditional reasons. It has been observed that forests and woodlands that are managed using traditional knowledge and practices are accorded high respect by concerned communities. Thus, fires or encroachment does not affect them. While the strategy of setting aside forests and woodlands for protection remains the centerpiece of management of these resources in the United Republic of Tanzania, this has been the result of evolutionary process from a conventional to a participatory approach of forest management. In this regards, Tanzania has been considered among successful countries in African in implementing Participatory Forest Management (PFM) as promoted through both Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) and Joint Forest Management (JFM). Policy provisions and legal framework has been important stepping stones for involvement of different players in forest conservation. In addition, legal reforms have tried to invert the colonial approach that excluded local communities from management and ownership of most resources in their vicinity. PFM typically has been implemented on a forest-by-forest or village-by-village basis, rather than using a landscape approach. But protecting one forest through PFM may displace villagers’ Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) harvest into other less protected forests, possibly causing greater ecological damage. A landscape approach to PFM would take into account even those forests that are not used by villagers before PFM is introduced but that might be once PFM reduces or eliminates access to alternative forests.

Issue Date:
Jul 01 2014
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
African Journal of Economic Review, Volume 02, Number 2
Page range:

 Record created 2017-10-20, last modified 2018-01-23

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