Influence of forestland tenure regimes on forest resource condition and livelihoods in Babati District, Tanzania
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Forestland tenure regime has wide ranging implications on resource condition and livelihoods of forest adjacent communities. Historically, state forestland tenure regime was dominant in Tanzania, but the current move is towards allocating forests on general land to villages. However, there is little information on the influence of forestland tenure on resource condition and livelihoods. This study aimed at analysing the influence of forestland tenure regimes on forest resource condition and livelihoods in Bereku and Haraa Forest Reserves and Riroda and Bubu Village land Forest Reserves in Babati District. Specifically the study assessed the influence of state and communal tenure regimes on vegetation cover changes, forest stocking, tree diversity, removals and livelihoods. Primary data were obtained through interpretation of satellite images, forest inventory and questionnaires. The results on forest vegetation cover classification between 1993 and 2009; showed that forests under state forestland tenure regime had a higher proportion of closed woodland than communal forestland tenure regime (83 and 84% against 74 and 68% in 1993). The annual rate of change from closed woodland to other vegetation classes was higher in communal forestland tenure regime (-9.3 and -6.1% against -1.1 and -0.1% between 1993 and 2000). The findings further revealed that number of stems were higher in state forestland tenure regime with a highest mean of 1134±256 against 1015±216 stems ha-1. Likewise, basal area was higher in state forestland tenure (15.0±1.8 m2ha-1 against 11.35±2.13 m2ha-1) compared to communal forestland tenure. Species diversity index H‟ was higher in forests under state forestland tenure regime and the index of dominance D‟ was low in state tenure regime indicating a stable structure in state forestland tenure. Disturbance level was higher in communal forestland tenure regime with a mean removal of 101±28 stems ha-1. Access to natural capital was highest in communal forestland tenure regime. Forestland tenure regime was found to be one of the institutional factors constraining household dependence on forest income. Albeit other factors like location of the forest, agroforestry practice and income diversification, there was sufficient evidence to support the alternative hypotheses. The study recommends creation of buffer zone forests for villagers with limited user rights.
Forestland, Forest resource, Forest adjacent communities, Livelihoods, Tenure, Regimes, Babati District, Tanzania