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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 4 Institutions, Livelihoods and Forest Dynamics: The Case of Ramogi and Mau Forests in Kenya: George M. Okwaro

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77 Chapter 4 Institutions, Livelihoods and Forest Dynamics: The Case of Ramogi and Mau Forests in Kenya George M. Okwaro 4.1 Abstract The study investigates the forest condition changes, the spatial patterns of forest dynamics and the roles played by institutions and livelihoods in the forest cover dynamics. Landsat satellite imagery of 1986, 1995 and 2010 were used to create single data classifications and a forest cover change image depicting the se- quence of changes in forest cover between 1986-1995-2010. The spatial relation- ships between observed changes in the forested areas, livelihoods and institu- tional factors are then determined. The results show the rate of forest degradation in Mau forest (transition from close forest to open forest rose dramatically in the 1995-2010 period). It is observed that rampant forest change occurred in areas located close to roads, near villages, at lower elevations, and on gradual slopes. On the other hand, relatively low levels of degradation were recorded in Ramogi forest, which is a semi-government forest (legally a government forest but with de facto control and claim of ownership by the local community and/county council). The findings are further compared with results from an IFRI – SAN- REM based study on the forest adjacent households, association and effects on the forest condition. When compared, the mentioned factors relate very closely and are very similar. 4.2 Introduction Forest destruction and degradation have increased drastically over the last quar- ter of the century. This has been propelled primarily by activities of rural house- holds...

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