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Abstract

The Mafungautsi Forest Area (MFA) is the site of land and resource use conflicts involving people living in adjacent communal areas. This study used qualitative case study information and questionnaire survey data to explore and describe how displaced people and other communities living adjacent to the MFA perceive and use forest resources. The results of the study indicate that the displacement of people from MFA has caused land shortage problems for communities that accommodated them. The same communities overwhelmingly depend on forest resources for their livelihood. Land was ranked as the most important use of the forest, followed by grazing and then by timber. Results also indicate that a unit that is responsible for monitoring illegal activities by communities could not stop their depredations on the MFA. In terms of forest management, the results point to the need to develop joint management strategies that benefit both the FC and local communities.

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