Local institutions and forest management: a case of Enguserosambu community Forest, Tanzania

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Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation


Governments are shifting the forest tenure systems to local and indigenous communities. This relatively new innovative approach serves as an opportunity for sustainable forest initiatives and economic development for some of the marginalized communities. This paper examines the role of local and indigenous institutions in the management of Enguserosambu Community Forest. One focus group discussion, 12 group interviews and seven individual interviews were conducted. A total of 46 individuals participated, out of these, 17 were females and 29 were males. Thematic analysis was conducted and several themes were generated during the analysis. Results indicate that Enguserosambu Community Forest, which is managed under a complex set of power structure, has five local/indigenous institutions actively engaged in the management of forest resources. There are internal conflicts among institutions, each questioning the role of the other. However, local institutions still play a strong role in the community by creating awareness and capacity building among the community members with regard to the forest and its benefits. Local institutions also ensure that users are identified and the benefits are shared among the right users. It is therefore important to build capacity of local institutions to enable them to effectively contribute to forest conservation and management.


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local, institutions, forest management, community forests