Forest resource use conflicts as a consequence of pseudo- devolution of power: a case study of Pugu and Kazimzumbwi forest reserves, Tanzania

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Shabani, Zainabu

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


The Pugu and Kazimzumbwi forest reserves are among the 83 lowland coastal forests in Tanzania. The decentralization of these reserves can be called pseudo-devolution, because system does not allow for full participation of local government and villagers. This study intended to asses the devolution of power in historical perspective and the factors underlying it; identify types of forest resource use conflicts exist and factors underlying them; and asses existing and potential conflict resolution mechanisms. Qualitative data were analyzed using content and structural-functional analyses while quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS. For inferential statistical analysis, factors underlying forest resource use conflicts between users and regulators were quantified. The study found two types of forest resource use conflicts: between users and regulators and among users. Users and regulators conflict was reported as the major one and pseudo-devolution of power was among the major underlying factors. Perception on pseudo-devolution of power was found to have positive regression coefficient of 2.696 and significant (P=0.013) and high odd ratio of 14.813. Distance from resource base to market was also positive and significant (P=0.027). Ethnicity, education level, household size, and farm size had positive regression coefficient but not significant. The factors found to reduce forest resource use conflicts included distance from homestead to reserves which was negative and significant (P=0.017) and duration of residence which was negative but not significant (P=0.316). Furthermore the study found formal existing conflict resolution mechanisms include primary and district courts and potential formal conflict resolution mechanisms including JFMA. Informal potential conflicts resolution mechanisms include elders and religious groups. The study concludes that, forest resource use conflicts are largely a consequence of pseudo-devolution of power. Lastly, the study recommends, the need for full devolution of power, creating alternative income sources, operationalizing potential conflicts resolution mechanisms and institutional mix in management of natural resources.



Forest reserves, Conflict resolution, Conflict resolution mechanisim, Kazimzumbwi forest reserve, Pugu forest reserve