Making community-based forest management work: a case study from Duru-Haitemba village forest reserve, Babati, Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania

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The Tanzanian Government’s capacity to protect forests and woodlands has progressively declined, with a reduction in budgets and retrenchment of workers. Hence a question has emerged in recent years as to whether the main model of forest resource management involving protection by policing is the right way forward. One model that has emerged and gained ground is community-based forest management. The guiding principle underlying the community-based forest management model is that local communities have the right to control and manage the forest resources on their land. This builds on a rather unique and favourable situation in the United Republic of Tanzania, where decentralized governance allows the village to own property in its own right as a corporate entity. Communities at Duru-Haitemba exploited this situation and adopted the community-based forest management model. The model at Duru-Haitemba came about as a result of local communities’ discontent at the way the 9 000 ha of remaining woodlands were being managed by the government. The woodlands, which were in a state of acute decline before local community participation, with loss of area and species, have been transformed into woodlands with boundaries that are intact, where incursion is limited, flora and fauna are recovering and management and protection are effective and at minimum cost.



community-based forest, Forest management, Duru-Haitemba, Forest reserve, Babati, Arusha, Tanzania