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Multi-Stakeholder Governance in Land and Forestry in Uganda: Conflict Mitigation, Scale, Knowledge and Collective Action

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bahati, Joseph; Banana, Abwoli Y.; Ssembajjwe, William Gombya
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2208
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): collective action
governance and politics
conflict resolution
forest management
indigenous knowledge
land tenure and use
Abstract: "There is increasing public attention and debate about land tenure and forest degradation, privatization and encroachment on land, and forest governance in Uganda. Land tenure policy and the restoration of degraded private and public forest patches are crucial to this proposed research. Increased government and donor attention to land and forest governance in Uganda is expected to pave the way for greater investment in collaborative and decentralized land and forestry management in the foreseeable future. This research aims to investigate multi-stakeholder governance in land and forests in Uganda by specifically examining how researchers, managers, policy makers, and users co-operate. The proposed research will draw on the lessons learned and experience gained from the International Forestry Resources and Institutions/Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management case studies conducted at two settlements whose residents use Mabira Forest Reserve in Uganda. Biophysical data collection, participatory action research, and community risk assessments were carried out at community and household levels. Stakeholder workshops were conducted. Driven by different motivations, a range of actors, stakeholders, individuals, households, communities, collectives, civil society organizations, companies, and government (central and local) have engaged in diverse efforts to ensure that all Ugandans have access to land). Efforts are being made to protect, restore, afforestate or rehabilitate degraded forests, but degradation persists. Operating alone or in partnership with others, these actors and stakeholders have undertaken forest management on privatively owned, communally owned, and government-owned land. Some leveling of disparities in capabilities, information, and influence among partners and stakeholder groups exist. The scale and degree of organization, the types of knowledge brought to bear, and the manner by which these actors and stakeholders are mobilized to pursue common interests are a central concern. How do we best create an environment of trust that will mitigate the internal conflicts of the diverse range of goals and interests? Policies that do not take into account the common interests yet discuss goals and objectives are doomed to failure. It is very possible to create sustainable land and forest policies through the collaboration of all parties involved and plan for the long term. How responsible institutions are held accountable, share power, provide a competitive playing ground for all stakeholders, and ensures the equitable distribution of beneficial results is essential to the success of sustainable development."

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