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Forest Governance Reforms in Eastern Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Institutional, Livelihood and Forest Sustainability Outcomes

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Banana, Abwoli Y.; Ongugo, Paul; Gombya-Ssembajjwe, William S.; Tadesse, W. G.; Senbeta, Feyera; Namaalwa, J.; Luoga, E. J.; Bahati, Joseph; Mbwambo, L. A.; Gatzweiler, Franz W.
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7279
Sector: Forestry
Region: Africa
Subject(s): decentralization
Abstract: "As forests continue to decline globally and more so in the East African region, decentralization reforms that aim to improve rural livelihoods and conserve forests by transferring management powers to local communities and governments have occurred in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Unlike Tanzania, where decentralization reforms have been implemented for over a decade, the reforms in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are still in their infancy. As a result, there is still little empirical understanding of its impacts on livelihoods, governance and forest conditions. Limited studies carried out in the region indicate that decentralization of the forest sector in the region has taken many different forms; from partial devolution of management responsibility to more profound devolution of ownership to communities. Similarly, the outcomes from these reform efforts also vary within and between countries. Livelihood outcomes are limited in areas where CFM, JFM and PFM are practiced and positive where CBFM is practiced. The outcomes of forest conditions under CFM, JFM and PFM are also mixed within and across the countries. Some forests have shown some improvements while others are continuing to be degraded. More forests under CBFM are showing improvement than the forests under JFM, PFM or CFM. Improvement in forest condition and livelihoods under CBFM may be due to improved enforcement of forest rules by the local communities because of strong security of tenure and better benefits that accrue to the communities that have CBFM arrangements."

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