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Institutional and Livelihood Changes in East African Forest Landscapes

Decentralization and Institutional Change for Sustainable Forest Management in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia

Edited By Franz Gatzweiler

This book presents research articles and essays which analyze the consequences of decentralization on forest conditions and livelihoods in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Authors from the East African collaborative research centers of the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program demonstrate that the institutional changes resulting from decentralization create costs for those who need to re-institutionalize and re-organize the management of forest and land resources. This requires investment into information, communication, education and into the re-building of social capital. Cases in which collective action has worked and contributed to improving livelihoods and forest conditions can be exemplary, while failures can be equally useful for learning about East Africa and beyond.

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Chapter 2 The Role of Institutions for Sustainable Livelihoods in Eastern Africa Forest Landscapes: Experience from Tanzania: Emmanuel Luoga and George C. Kajembe

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49 Chapter 2 The Role of Institutions for Sustainable Livelihoods in Eastern Africa Forest Landscapes: Experience from Tanzania Emmanuel Luoga and George C. Kajembe 2.1 Abstract Historically, Tanzania went through political changes in which different forest management institutions emerged either by design or by necessity. There are two distinct categories of institutions: informal and formal. The former is based on cultural values and norms to regulate behaviour whereas the latter is political in nature. The question is whether these institutions are effective in improving the livelihood of forest adjacent communities. Data for this study were collected from six forest sites with various management regimes: communal, private, local and national/government. Preliminary analysis indicated that communities adjacent to forests claim de-facto rights to products. Although cultural institutions have proven to be effective in conserving the resources since historical times, their effectiveness has been overtaken by socio-cultural and political changes over time. Formal institutions by the forest authorities have good intentions, but poor staffing and lack of management plans render the institutions ineffective thus becoming the source of poor monitoring and over utilization of resources. These institutions stand to succeed if concerted efforts are made to strengthen both formal and informal rules in managing forests as Common Pool Resources (CPRs). 2.2 Introduction Harvesting of products from forests is key to livelihood enhancement particularly in tropical and subtropical countries as local communities collect fuel wood, medicine and other products from the forest. To understand this complex rela- tionship, it is necessary to revisit the...

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