Rhetoric versus Reality in Participatory Forest Management in the East Usambaras, Tanzania

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041804/00001

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Title: Rhetoric versus Reality in Participatory Forest Management in the East Usambaras, Tanzania
Physical Description: 1 online resource (78 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Bullock, Renee
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: accountability, africa, decentralization, forestry, governance, participation, tanzania
Geography -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Geography thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Countries decentralize control over natural resources to local level institutions under the assumption that devolved management will improve governance. This study investigates Tanzania s participatory forest management (PFM) reforms to better understand their effectiveness in improving governance of village forest reserves (VFRs). The East Usambaras in the Eastern Arc Mountains are located in northeast Tanzania and are recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. PFM has potential to be an important strategy to maintain landscape scale forest connectivity amidst accelerated deforestation as a result of agricultural conversion. A mixed method approach that included two hundred household surveys administered in three villages was used to measure community member s participation and perceptions of institutional performance. Results were disseminated in group meetings. Findings show that democratic forest management has not been fully institutionalized and that participation is low and accountability mechanisms are weak between community members and the village council. However, perceptions of governance are positive, which suggests that community members have low expectations of the village council and low awareness of their rights to demand accountability from leaders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Renee Bullock.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Child, Brian.

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Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041804:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041804/00001

Material Information

Title: Rhetoric versus Reality in Participatory Forest Management in the East Usambaras, Tanzania
Physical Description: 1 online resource (78 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Bullock, Renee
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: accountability, africa, decentralization, forestry, governance, participation, tanzania
Geography -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Geography thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Countries decentralize control over natural resources to local level institutions under the assumption that devolved management will improve governance. This study investigates Tanzania s participatory forest management (PFM) reforms to better understand their effectiveness in improving governance of village forest reserves (VFRs). The East Usambaras in the Eastern Arc Mountains are located in northeast Tanzania and are recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. PFM has potential to be an important strategy to maintain landscape scale forest connectivity amidst accelerated deforestation as a result of agricultural conversion. A mixed method approach that included two hundred household surveys administered in three villages was used to measure community member s participation and perceptions of institutional performance. Results were disseminated in group meetings. Findings show that democratic forest management has not been fully institutionalized and that participation is low and accountability mechanisms are weak between community members and the village council. However, perceptions of governance are positive, which suggests that community members have low expectations of the village council and low awareness of their rights to demand accountability from leaders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Renee Bullock.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Child, Brian.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041804:00001

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2 2010 Renee Bullock


3 For my dad, for believing in me


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my parents friends, and colleagues in the department, without whom this thesis would not have been pos sible.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................ 7 LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................. 9 ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................ 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 11 Decentralizing Good Governance ........................................................................... 12 Challenges in Measuring Performance ...................................................................... 17 2 TANZANIA BACKGROUND ....................................................................................... 19 Wildlife and Forests: Centralized Control .................................................................. 19 Reform Narratives ....................................................................................................... 22 Forestry ....................................................................................................................... 24 Reform Implementation ........................................................................................ 26 Community Based Forest Management Mechanisms ........................................ 28 3 METHODOLOGY ....................................................................................................... 31 Field Site ..................................................................................................................... 31 Data Collection ............................................................................................................ 37 4 RESULTS .................................................................................................................... 41 Demographics ............................................................................................................. 41 Participation .......................................................................................................... 42 Quality of Participation .................................................................................. 44 Benefits and Financial management ............................................................ 48 Attitudes and Perceptions .................................................................................... 49 Perceptions of Village Government Perfor mance ..................................................... 55 5 DISCUSSION .............................................................................................................. 61 Participation ................................................................................................................ 61 Perceptions of Protect ed Areas ................................................................................. 63


6 6 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................ 64 Reality ......................................................................................................................... 64 Issues of Scale ............................................................................................................ 66 Recommendations ...................................................................................................... 67 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................................................................................... 69 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................................................ 78


7 LIST OF TABLES Tables page 2 -1 Wildlife and forest reform details ........................................................................... 23 2 -2 Distribution of p ar ticipatory f orest m anagement across forest res erves .............. 27 2 -3 Distribution of c ommunity b ased f orest m anagement and j oint forest m anagement across main forest types ................................................................. 27 2 -4 Forest committee responsibilities .......................................................................... 30 3 -1 Critical aspects to reserve development in two villages selected for this study .. 36 3 -2 Village forest reserve details .................................................................................. 37 3 -3 Village population and households surveyed ........................................................ 39 3 -4 Participati on in focus groups to disseminate and discuss research results ......... 4 0 4 -1 Household survey demographic results ................................................................ 41 4 -2 Feedback comments about voting for forest committee ....................................... 43 4 -3 Frequency of meetings attended over the last year .............................................. 43 4 -4 Number of months since having attended a public meeting ................................. 43 4 -5 Feedback comments .............................................................................................. 44 4 -6 Respondents level of satisfaction with the last meeting they attended ................ 44 4 -7 Knowledge of activies that are not permitted in village forest reserves ............... 45 4 -8 Knowledge of activities permitted in the management pl an ................................. 45 4 -9 Management Plan (Mgambo) ................................................................................ 46 4 -10 People who reported knowing the names of forest committee members ............ 47 4 -11 Feedback comments concerning forest committee activities. .............................. 49 4 -12 Respondents knowledge of VFR financial aspects ............................................... 49 4 -13 Responses to if people collect forest products from reserve ................................ 52 4 -14 Perceptions of the size of the reserve ................................................................... 53


8 4 -15 Feedback comments about decision making ........................................................ 54 4 -16 Feedback comments concerning representation .................................................. 57 4 -17 Feedback comm ents concerning perceptions of quality of meetings ................... 58 4 -18 Feedback session comments concerning honesty of financial management ...... 59 4 -19 Feedback comments concerning quality of information ........................................ 59


9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 -1 Map of the field site ................................................................................................ 31 4 -1 Participation in voting for forest committee ........................................................... 43 4 -2 Percentages of respondents who had seen the forest management plan ........... 45 4 -3 Knowledge of the committees responsibility in clearing the boundary ................ 47 4 -4 Perceived importance of environmental service values ........................................ 50 4 -5 Perceived importance of financial benefits ............................................................ 51 4 -6 Perceived importance of tangible forest products ................................................. 51 4 -7 Perceptions of how well by -laws are followed ....................................................... 52 4 -8 Level of support for reserve ................................................................................... 53 4 -9 Perceptions of how village council makes decisions ............................................ 53 4 -10 Perceptions of how village council makes decisions ............................................ 54 4 -11 Perceived levels of trust in village council to manag e reserve ............................. 55 4 -12 Perceptions of the ability to participate in decision making .................................. 56 4 -13 Perceptions of how well village council represents local concerns ...................... 57 4 -14 Perceptions of the quality of meetings .................................................................. 57 4 -15 Perceptions of honesty of financial management ................................................. 58 4 -16 Perceptions of quality of information provided ...................................................... 59


10 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Ful fillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts RHETORIC VERSUS REALITY IN PARTCIPATORY FOREST MANAGEMENT IN EAST USAMBARAS, TANZANIA By Renee Bullock May 2010 Chair: Brian Child Major: Geography Countries decentralize control over natur al resources to local level institutions under the assumption that devolved management will improve governance. This study investigates Tanzanias participatory forest management (PFM) reforms to better understand their effectiveness in improving governanc e of village forest reserves (VFRs). The East Usambaras in the Eastern Arc Mountains are located in northeast Tanzania and are recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. PFM has potential to be an important strategy to maintain landscape scale forest connectivi ty amidst a ccelerated deforestation as a result of agricultural conversion. A mixed method approach that included two hundred household surveys administered in three villages was used to measure community members participation and perceptions of instituti onal performance. Results were disseminated in group meetings. Findings show that democratic forest management has not been fully institutionalized and that participation is low and accountability mechanisms are weak between community members and the villa ge council. However, perceptions of governance are positive, which suggests that community members have low expectations of the village council and low awareness of their rights to demand accountability from leaders.


11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Decentralized fo rest management has become a popular development strategy because it is expected to promote resource conservation and an equitable distribution of forest related benefits by improving efficiency and ac countability in forest management processes (Lund et a l., 2007). From the mid 1980 s a broad international movement, starting in Asia but spreading rapidly to Africa, stressed the decentralization and delegation of forest management rights and responsibilities to the local level to enhance sustainable forest m anagement (Wily, 2002 ). It was estimated in 2002 that 22% of all forests in developing countries were formally under some form of decentralized management (White &Martin, 2002). Decentralization involves the transfer of power from the central government t o actors and institutions at lower levels in a political administrative and territorial hierarchy (Mawhood, 1983; Smith, 1985; Agrawal and Ribot, 1999) and is essentially about distribution of power and resources among different levels and territorial area s of the state (Crooke, 2003). But, e xamples of decentralized forest management where meaningful powers are transferred to democratically elected and downwards accountable decisionmaking bodies are, in fact, rare (Arnold, 2001; Ribot, Agrawal, & Larson, 2006). Tanzania provides an example where, in recent years, substantial rights and powers over forest resources have been transferred to local democratically elected bodies (Blomley & Ramadhani, 2006; Wily, 2001) through participatory forest management (PF M) initiatives. PFMs main objectives are threefold: to improve forest quality, livelihoods, and local governance of natural resource management institutions (U RT, 2003).


12 There is lively debate over the effectiveness of these reforms in fulfilling these objectives. Some argue that mainland Tanzania has one of the most advanced community forestry jurisdictions in Africa as reflected in policy, law and practice (Blomley et al., 2008; Lund & Nielsen, 2006 ; Wily, 2001 a ) and provides one of the most striking cas es of power sharing objectives in Eastern and Southern Africa (Wily, 2000b) Others report on local governments failures in institutionalizing accountability, transparency, and legitimacy despite supporting legislation ( Brockington, 2007; Fjeldstad, 2001; Kelsall, 2000; Kelsall, 2004) None of these studies, however, directly investigate decentralized forest management regimes at the village level and few, if any, studies have documented the effects of decentralized forest management in relation to meeting their triple objectives of PFM forest policy reforms (Lund and Treue, 2008; Blomley, et al., 2008). The primary emphasis of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of PFM in meeting its first two stated objectives, improving natural resource gover nance and livelihoods. Local village community members participation was measured in forest management. Secondly, attitudes toward protected areas and concerning local governance performance were evaluated. Additionally, forest condition observations were made to assess forest condition. Decentralizing Good Governance In practice, decentralization has focused primarily on service delivery and infrastructure (Bird and Rodriguez, 1999; Gideon, 2001; Mok, 2002), areas in which researchers increasingly report improvements in efficiency and effectiveness with better local governance practices (Romeo, 2003) Decentralization researchers and practitioners have given relatively less attention to reforms in natural resource


13 management (Larson & Ribot, 2005). Characteristics of natural resources tend to make decentralization of th eir management to elected local governments more complex when compared to decentralization of services and infrastructure (Larson, 2003). This is due, in part, to the increased relevance of natural resources to many peoples lives in rural areas in develop ing countries. Reforms may significantly affect access, use, management, and the extent to which local people have a voice and leverage in decisions (Ribot, 2002a; Nelson and Blomley, n.d.). Achievement of good governance at the local level has been both an objective and a means toward implementing decentralized forest policy reforms (Arnold, 1998; Hobley, 1996). In the last decade, extensive new forestry acts have been promulgated in Africa in Zanzibar, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Namibia ( Wily, 2001b) Most of this new legislation is democratic because tautly held central government authority is giving way to semi autonomous local governance of resources but the most radical shift has occurred in T anzania, where increased rights and responsibilities have being given to forest -local communities (ibid). A review of good governance indicators, as portrayed by donor organizations, characterizes good governance by increased levels of participation, acco untability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency, and adherence to the rule of law (USAID, 1998; World Bank, 2007). Democratic decentralization, or devolution, occurs when the central government cedes control to political actors and institutions at lower levels (Crook and Manor, 1998). By contrast, administrative decentralization, or deconcentration, tends to constitute centralization because agents of higher levels of government are dispersed into lower -


14 level arenas by relocating officers at differ ent levels or points in the national territory system, thereby enhancing the leverage of those at the apex of the system (Manor, 1997). These types of decentralization differ in terms of the distribution of power and accountability. Distribution of control over natural resources plays an important role in defining local power relations, particularly in areas where forest, land, and water resources are central to supporting rural livelihoods (Larson, 2003). Underlying the case for democratic decentralization is an assertion that a more decentralized state apparatus will be more exposed and therefore more responsive to local needs and aspirations (Crook and Sverrisson, 2001). Devolving significant discretionary powers to local governments to exercise influenc e (Manor, 1997; Crooke and Manor, 1994) and implement meaningful decisions within the political system are critical (Ribot, 2002b) because they enable local institutions to adapt, act, and react effectively (Ribot, 2002a). If central governments grant lo cal governments the rights to make and implement decisions but in practice withhold resources or otherwise check local ability to do so, then discretionary powers have not been effectively transferred (Ribot, et al., 2006) Ribot (2002a) notes that reforms are often characterized by insufficient transfer of powers to local institutions or discretionary powers. Many studies report that the main impediment to decentralized forest management in Africa is that central governments and their agencies rarely devolve actual powers, which results in repeat ed re centralizations and a lack of checks and balances in the institutional setups (Bazaara, 2003; Fomete, 2001; Oyono, 2004; Ribot, 2002 a ). In the Tanzanian context the extent and distribution of devolved discretionary powers varies. For example, forest and wildlife


15 policy reforms differ in terms of the amount of control actually devolved to local communities. Discretionary powers are mediated by accountability mechanisms, the substantive essence of democracy (Moore, 1998). When downwardly accountable l ocal authorities also have discretionary powers, or a domain of secure, local autonomy, there is good reason to believe positive decentralization outcomes will follow, including improved responsiveness and effectiveness (Agrawal & Ribot, 1999). Accountabi lity is the mechanism by which decentralization is supposed to secure participation (Crook and Sverrison, 2001) through election procedures and, in rural areas of many developing countries, public meetings. Periodic elections provide an important means of ensuring government responsiveness and accountability on broad social issues (Blair, 2000). They provide a means through which citizens exercise their right to choose leaders. However, elections alone may not necessarily transform the relationship between government and citizens, or lead to citizen empowerment (Crooke and Sverrisson, 2001). The ability of elections to encourage effective and responsive governance is dependent upon the quality of information voters have at their disposal and the forms of par ticipation which engage people in between elections crucial (Blair, 2000; Crook and Sverrisson, 2001). Community meetings provide opportunities for leaders to interact regularly and meaningfully with the ordinary citizens to whom they are accountable (Manor, 1997) and provide access to information. Access to, and provision of information through leaders, non -leaders, NGOs, or forums in which public debate can occur enhance peoples knowledge of their rights, which Ribot notes, (2002a), can raise peoples expectations for meaningful reform, representation, justice,


16 and services. If local populations and authorities are to act on the rights and obligations that come with decentralization, they must know the law (Ribot, 2002a). Accountability mechanisms are n ot influential without broad local participation. In theory, decentralization intends to be more inclusive by addressing the needs of poor and marginalized people in decision making, who traditionally may have been excluded (Mansuri and Rao, 2003; Edmunds and Wollenberg, 2003). Participatory decision making leads to a better understanding of local needs and has potential to incorporate these into government programs (Crook and Manor, 1998; Agrawal and Ribot, 1999). By channeling greater benefits to local authorities and local peoples, decentralization provides incentives for local populations to maintain and protect local resources (Kellert et al., 2000). The amount and types of benefits available, and more specifically the distribution of benefits, depend s on the legal framework, including its implementation and interpretation, which is in turn affected by peoples ability to negotiate for benefits that they are due (Meshack & Raben, 2007). When there are poor accountability mechanisms there is a greater p otential for elite capture. Decentralization of forest revenue management in Cameroon, for example, has led to higher level administrators and politicians dominating community processes, leading to diversion of forest revenue (Fomete, 2001; Oyono, 2004). Even when powers are devolved to local downwards accountable management bodies, the benefits of decentralized management may be curtailed in numerous ways (Lund et al., 2007). Often, local communities receive rights to degraded areas with potential for a ppropriation of subsistence use products only, while rights to areas with more lucrative commercial prospects remain within the domain of central states to be


17 sold off as concessions, as is the case in Mozambique (Lund and Mustalahti, 2007) and Uganda (Baz aara, 2003). Joint forest management (JFM) in Tanzania has also been strongly criticized because of its failure to deliver tangible benefits to forest dependent communities and inequity in terms of how forest management costs and benefits are distributed between the state and forest users in JFM arrangements (Blomley & Ramadhani, 2006; Lund &Nielsen, 2006; Meshack et al., 2006; Pfliegner & Moshi, 2007). Challenges in Measuring Performance Participation single handedly does not determine successful decentr alization outcomes. Participation must be effective, which depends upon mechanisms of accountability and changes in organizational behavior within relevant government bureaucracies (Crooke, 2003; Crooke and Sverrisson, 2001). The extent to which decentralization is participatory can be measured to some degree by the quantity of participation, such as elections, representative bodies and by changes in its social scope (which groups participate and whether it has become more inclusive of the poor and dis advantaged) but it cannot be assumed that participation levels automatically lead to empowerment and policy responsiveness (Crooke and Sverrisson, 1999). To improve responsiveness the impact of accountability mechanisms must be felt and a sense of respon siveness could be inferred based on attitudes concerning performance of local government institutions (Crooke and Sverrison, 1999). Blomley (2006) notes that measuring institutional performance and governance can be understood based on local residents aw areness of their roles, rights, responsibilities, and returns, and their opportunities for reporting and public accountability within an institutional framework. Once effective participation and legitimacy are established, a self -reinforcing process is


18 st arted, which should lead to further increases in the level and scope of participation (Crooke and Sverrisson, 2001).


19 CHAPTER 2 TANZANIA BACKGROUND Wildlife and Forests: Centralized Control Tanzanias natural resource management legacy is dominated by the c olonial heritage of centralized control that alienated access and ownership rights from indigenous people (Kallonga et al., 2003). Wildlife, land, and forest laws all were based on the process of alienation in which large tracts of land came under central control, local people were moved out of new protected areas, and the use of particular species was proscribed (Wily and Mbaya, 2001 ; Shivji, 1998). Colonial era policies transferred control of and access to valuable resources from Africans to Europeans ( Ne umann, 1998). Large areas of forests and the most valuable lands were placed under the dir ect control of colonial administrations in East Africa (Nelson, et al., 2007). Tanzanias first two decades after independence in 1961 were characterized by consolid ation and extension of the states control over the economy and citizens lives as it entered a period of socialist development and nationbuilding (Kallonga, 2003). During the socialist era of Ujamaa, the nations primary wildlife legislation placed aut hority and responsibility for wildlife resources in the hands of the State, with few provisions for community participation (WSRTF, 1995; Majamba, 2001). Despite the establishment of protected areas (PAs), initially propagated in 1891, to protect Tanzani as wildlife, the illegal use and humanwildlife conflicts increased in the 1960s and 1970s (Nelson, et al., 2007). Wildlife numbers decreased significantly and deforestation in government owned forests increased. In the wake of declining budgets and the retrenchment of workers, the governments capacity to protect forests based on a model of command and control progressively declined (Wily) 1990). The central


20 government had low financial and human resource capacity to meet increasing demand for forest products and services (Raphael & Swai, 2009) to manage Tanzanias resource base under exploitation pressure (Petersen and Sandhvel 2001) (Burgess and Kilahama, 2005). Wily (2001) found that many villagers adjacent to Government controlled forests in Tanzania regarded reserves as fair game and exploited them without constraint (Alden Wily 2001) Reforms were a means to implement cost effective local management (Kajembe & Kessy, 2000). The 1980s and 90s saw a wave of policy and governance reforms in natural resource sectors addressing the problems created by t he colonial legacy of exclusive centralization (Kallonga, 2003) Centralized resource management practices instituted during the years of European colonial rule and maintained by post independence governments were challenged by new approaches that called for increased local participation, rights, and economic benefits ( Adams and Hulme, 1997, in Nelson et al ., 2007). The economic crisis of the 80s contributed to the promotion of decentralized approaches to forest and wildlife managem ent because central government agencies faced greater resource pressures in uncertain and changing fiscal and political contexts; thus, foreign donors and entrepreneurial individuals were more able to influence reforms (Nelson and Blomley, n.d.). Funding f rom donor agencies was critical in financing devolution and donors often attached conditions to their funding, forcing governments to review their policies and practices to favor local needs (Kowero, Campbell, & Sumaila, 2003). The Case of Duru Haitemba: The pioneering development of community based forest management (CBFM) in Tanzania is traced to the case of the Duru-Haitemba, a


21 miombo forest that had been earmarked for reservation by central government (Odera, 2004) In 199495 local communities adjacent to Duru-Haitemba opposed the governments plan to protect and sanction use o f 9000 hectares of miombo woodlands ( Wily, 2001 b ). It was surveyed for gazettement as a National Forest Reserve in 1991, and two forest guards were deployed to protect the forest ( ibid ). Feeling that their customary tenure had been ignored, villages on th e perimeter of the forest proceeded to extract as much as they could from the forest before it was lost to them (ibid). Outsiders joined in, arguing that if the forest now belonged to government, it was, in fact, owned by everyone (ibid). By 1994 the for est was encroached on all sides by new farms, was seriously degraded, and the critical springs it supported had dried up (ibid). A consultant, Liz Wily, was called in to explore solutions to this opposition. With the help of tolerant and influential fore stry officers, plans to take the forest under district control were abandoned (Brockington, 2007) and formal forest stewardship strategies were created based on village government and land tenure frameworks. Villagers surveyed their forest and set up elect ed committees to control and monitor forest resource use and user zones were designated, allowing access to some parts of the forest while commercial charc oal burning was forbidden (ibid). The policies that were formulated by the village forest committees were submitted as formal village by laws from the village council to the district council for ratification, and thus became legally binding for all Tanzanians (Wily 2001a). In terms of forest conditions a visit to the area five years later showed the return of forest springs, closure of the canopy, and a dramatic increase in undercover species (Wily et al., 2000). Kajembe et al. (n.d) also noted that woodlands with boundaries were


22 inta ct, incursion was limited, and flora and fauna are recovering while bei ng managed and protected effectively at a minimum cost. Reform Narratives Wildlife and forestry reform narratives share similar objectives of devolving ownership and revenue sharing opportunities to local communities in efforts to more sustainably manage resources and alleviate poverty. However, upon closer look at the policies (Table2-1), the Wildlife Policy of Tanzania (1998) and the Forest Policy (1998) have different strategies that are largely to blame in the different outcomes for policy implementati on. A comparison of these policy reform narratives throws into question just how much discretionary power has actually been devolved to local communities in the wildlife sector when compared to the forestry sector. Management authority over wildlife remai ns with the state, in contrast to PFM, which devolves complete ownership to manage and benefit in its community based forest management (CBFM) policy. Whereas revenues may be managed at the village level in CBFM, policies over revenue sharing are still unc lear. Resource tenure to wildlife is not secure and the state maintains control over wildlife. CBFM, however, devolves significant discretionary powers to local communities because the village has complete jurisdiction over how to spend revenues. The gazet tement procedures differ significantly. To establish tenure over resources the village must demarcate a wildlife management area (WMA) and village forest reserve (VFR), respectively. Establishing a WMA is a complex and bureaucratic process. The regulations requirements, such as general management plan formulation and environmental impact assessments, include procedures which government has often lacked the will or capaci ty for carrying out (Nelson, et al 2007). The procedure for


23 gazettement of a forest re serve is comparatively more straightforward (details are provided in the next chapter). Furthermore, under the wildlife policy, opportunities for benefit sharing are not explicit and determined through administrative discretion by way of 'circulars issued by the government from time to time' (MNRT, 2002). Table 2 1. Wildlife and forest reform details Wildlife Forestry (CBFM) Main Objectives Involve all stakeholders in conservation and sustainable utilization ; fair and equitable benefit sharing contribute to poverty alleviation Improved forest quality, increased forest revenue; Improved forest governance Management Authority Community Based Organization (CBO), under approval of the Wildlife Division Forest Committee (with approval from village council and assembly) Benefit Sharing Revenues divided between CBO and government; the proportions have not been formally defined; unclear access Villages may retain 100% of the revenue Utilization Rights User rights are limited to 3 year terms ; Government grant s hunting concession allocations Utilization of all forest products according to village management plans and by laws Resource Tenure State (community has rights to land, not wildlife) Village (community has rights to land and to forest products) Procedu re Extensive and bureaucratic Relatively straightforward Adapted from Nelson, et al., 2007 Different Outcomes: Conflicts over land and resource rights in areas where wildlife populations occur along side local people have grown among government agencies, rural communities and private interests (Nelson, 2007, et al.). More than fifteen years after the wildlife sector reform proc ess began in Tanzania, relatively little has been accomplished in terms of ac tually devolving authority for wildlife to the loca l level (Nelson, 2007, et al.). Progress on WMA implementation has been slow (Baldus, et al. 2004), and only four out of sixteen pilot areas were gazetted as WMAs as of mid-


24 2006. By contrast, PFM has led to an estimated 10% of total forest being managed un der PFM (Blomley et. al, 2006). Part of the explanation for poor operationalization of wildlife policies stems from central governments reluctance to cede power over a lucrative resource. Centralized control over wildlife provides considerable economic b enefits to the central government, while forest management has historically been undermined by corrupt taxation processes. Tourism revenues, particularly from hunting, are substantial. Tanzanias tourist hunting industry is one of the largest in sub -Sahar an Africa, generating about $27 million in total annual revenues (Baldus and Cauldwell 2004; Barnett and Patterson 2006). The figures for the timber industry, however, have been consistently undervalued and criticized for corruption and poor governance con trols over taxation and revenue collection. At central government level, it has been estimated that nationwide losses of revenue to the Forestry and Beekeeping Division amounted to USD 58 million annually due to the under -collection of natural forest product royalties in the districts (Milledge et al., 2007). Furthermore, trade statistics show that China imported ten times more timber products from Tanzania than appear on Tanzanias own export records (Millege et al., 2007). By looking at the policies it is clear that the central government has been unwilling to cede control over wildlife resources when compared to forests. Forestry Wildlife and forestry reforms took place within a wider context of economic liberalization and decentralization reforms and th e proliferation of com munitybased conservation efforts and concepts throughout eastern and southern Africa during the 1980s and 90s (Nelson et al., 2007). Tanzania is recognized as having one of the


25 strongest institutional frameworks for CBNRM in sub Saharan Africa based on historical legislation (Wily and Mbaya, 2001) namely the Local Government Authorities Act of 1982, the Land Act of 1997, and the Village land Act of 1999. The Tanzani an local government system of today is vested in the 1982 Local Government Authorities Act (URT, 1982) which reestablished two tiers of local government as democratically representative corporate bodies with mandates to provide services and enact and enforce by laws. The Act established the district council as the higher level of local government and the village council as the lower level (URT, 1982). The vision of the program was to expand the responsibilities of local government, while the role of central government is transformed toward overseeing and supporting local government (Steffensen et al., 2004). Village councils possess a mix of executive and legislative powers, the latter enabling them to create enforceable village by laws on virtually any mat ter affecting the social or economic well -being of the community or the resources within the local village area (W ily, 2001 b). Village land acts, specifically the Land Act of 1997 and the Village land Act of 1999 aim to bring all land in Tanzania under own ership that can be defined and registered, and enable communities to extend their tenure to include adjacent unoccupied lands ( Wily, 2001 b). The Village Land Act of 1997 and 1999 lay out the legal framework and procedures for most of Tanzanias rural land, in which authority over land administration, land management, and dispute resolution are devolved to the community level (Wily and Mbaya, 2001) The village council is the administrative u nit for making local land use and management decisions under it s local jurisdiction (Wily,2001 a ). The council has the authority and responsibility for managing the villages


26 lands on behalf of the community (Wily, 2003) and is subject to approval by the Village Assembly. Reform Implementation At the national level implementation of PFM efforts has resulted in rapidly increasing coverage, and it is estimated that 3.7 million hectares, or around 10 per cent of the total forest area in Tanzania, were under some form of decentralized forest management in (Blomley T. and Ramadhani 20 06) in over 2,320 villages (URT, 2006). Tanzanias main forest types are the extensive miombo woodlands in lowland areas across the central and southern parts of the country, the Acacia woodlands in the northern regions (White, 1983), the coastal forest /woodland mosaic in the east (Burgess & Clarke, 2000), mangrove forests along the Indian Ocean (White, 1983), and closed canopy forests on the ancient mountains of the Eastern Arc in the east (Lovett and Wasser, 1993; Burgess et al., 2007). Protected area forest reserves fall under the legal authority of central government (National Forest Reserves), local government (Local Authority Forest Reserves), or village government (Village Land Forest Reserves and Community Forest Reserves) and are either designated for production (managed for timber and other productive uses) or protection (managed for water catchment or biodiversity conservation functions) (Blomley et al. 2008) The PFM approach has been primarily defined by central government as a strategy for sustainable forest management (Blomley et al 2008). Many of the resources directed toward it have been targeted at the forest resources with the highest national values from biodiversity and water catchment perspective (ibid ). The Eastern Arc forests feature heavily in the list of sites where par ticipatory forest management (PFM), primarily joint forest management, has been


27 implemented, (Table 2-2). Table 2-3 comp ares the distribution of CBFM and JFM across the main forest types and shows that the majority of CBFM occurred in miombo woodlands. Table 2-2. Distribution of PFM across forest reserves National Forest Reserve (ha) Local Authority Forest Reserves Total % of total area under JFM Protection 1,136,788 120,4231,257,211 77.7 Production 232,575128,190360,765 22.3 % of total area 84.615.4100 100 Total 1,369,363248,6131,617,976 100 From Blomley, et al., 2008 Table 2-3. Distribution of CBFM and JFM across main forest types CBFM JFM Forest type Estimated area (ha) % of total area Estimated area (ha) % of total area Montane evergreen 12,0511849,102 57 Mangroves 0 0 111,543 7 Coastal forests 308,814 15 193,100 12 Miombo woodlands 1,399,805 68 326,022 20 Acacia woodlands 339,937 16 138,209 9 Total 2,060,608 100 1,617,976 100 From Blomley, et al., 2008 The National Forest Policy (1998) laid the groundwork for reforms in the forest sector to address social, economic, environm ental, cultural and political shifts by transferring power traditionally held by c entral government to local districts (MNRT, 1998). Key strategies to meet PFM objecti ves include establishing innovative ways to share the costs and benefits of forests thro ugh income generation, poverty reduction, and ownership over forest resources (MNRT, 2001).


28 The two types of PFM are joint forest management (J FM) and community based forest management (CBFM), which differ in terms of ownership and benefit sharing agreements. Joint forest management (JFM) takes place on reserved forests, and the forest is jointly managed between local communities and local or ce ntral government (URT, 1998; URT, 2002). CBFM, on the other hand, occurs on public village land that is owned and managed by the local community and is under the Village Councils jurisdiction. PFM has three policy objectives: 1 Improved forest quality, through sustainable management objectives 2 Improved livelihoods through increased forest revenue and secure supply of subsistence forest products 3 Improved forest governance at village and district level through effective and accountable natural resource managem ent institutions Source: (URT, 2002) Community Based Forest Management Mechanisms Participatory planning The process to gazette a VFR includes stakeholders at the community and regional district levels, and often NGO representatives. Multiple meetings are held to negotiate the terms under which the VFR will be managed. Planning is the first step in PFM followed up by continuous monitoring of the implementation of these participatory exercises (Veltheim, 2002). To establish a VFR the following steps are taken: 1. Form a committee under the council 2. Demarcate the VFR boundary 3. Draft by laws and a management plan that includes use and user zones


29 4. Pass the plan in an assembly 5. Submit for approval to district 6. Following approval the community assumes responsibilities in biodiversity assessmen ts, monitoring, and maintenance Management plan Management plans broker the power relations between various stakeholders in implementing participatory, politicized strategies (Vihemaki, 2005) by articulating p owers and duties of local community actors appointed as guardians of the reserve (URT, 2002). The plan specifies the rights of the community or the power to determine and regulate forest access, details about limiting or exclusion rights, and mandates the terms by which the forest committee will be held accountable to the community (Wily & Mbaya, 2001). It also specifies how forest adjacent communities will be involved, and justifies those cases in which they will not be involved (Wily and Mbaya, 2001) / (ibid) Forest committee In recent years international donors and central governments are increasingly turning toward single purpose user committees to foster active community participation, o rganize and coordinate community involvement in projects (Manor, 1997). PFM is driven and implemented by committees established under the Village Council (Blomley, 2006) and is the principal village body concerned with the management of a village lan d forest reserve (Table 24) (U RT 2002). The committee is a local institution of 10 15 members elected every 3 years and firmly embedded within village government structures (Blomley, 2006). The two elected bodies are held accountable to the villagers and each other by reading aloud information about revenues, where applicable, at quarterly village assemblies. This allows ordinary villagers to check for coherence


30 between the stated revenue income figures and the activities in the forest particularly where production is concerned (Lund et al., 2007) The committee has the right to make rules in con cordance with the Assembly that, upon approval by the District Council and the Minister, become bylaws that are judicially operational and valid in any court according to Tanzanias Local Government Act of 1982 (URT, 1982). Table 2 4. Forest committee res ponsibilities Operational : revenue collection clearing the boundary, patrolling for illegal activity, participating in biodiversity assessments, escorting tourists and researcher s into forest Administrative: the committee meets twice a month and submit s a report every two months. The reports are presented by the council every six months and a copy is sent to the district forest office Community involvement: promote conservation through building improved stoves and building brick houses; advertise and c onnect the reserve to the tourism network


31 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Field Site East Usambaras, Tanzania : The Eastern Arc is amongst the most threatened regions of global biodiversity significance where the extinction risks are increasing (Burgess, et al., 2007). It is estimated that less than 30% of the original Eastern Arc forests remain ( ibid )( Figure 31). Remote sensing data from 2008 showed approximately 7500 ha of forests have been cleared or burned within government forest reserves, in addition to si gnificant deforestation outside the reserve boundaries ( van Noordwijk et al 2010). Figure 31. Map of the field site The Washambaa are the main indigenous group in the East Usambaras and their traditional farming systems are agroforestry and interc ropping (Kaoneka & Solberg,


32 1996). Population in the uplands has grown rapidly due to a high birth rates and immigration, which has increased pressures on remaining forests. Cardamom was introduced in the 1950s but it wasnt until the 70s and 80s, when t ea estate laborers and their families took over some abandoned estates for small -scale agriculture that cardamom cultivation expanded (Stocking & Perkin, 1991) and markets for the spice became more lucrative. Today cardamom cultivation is thought to be one of the main problems threatening forests the East Usamb aras (CEPF, 2005; Newmark, 2002). It is grown under the shade of tall canopy trees and is mostly grown in the fragile higher parts of the mountains (above 850 m). Planting requires clearing the forest understory and middle layer, and selectively thinning the top canopy (Reyes 2008) Farmers response to decreased yields after 714 years has been to convert new forest areas to cardamom cultivation while the old area is cleared completely and converted to annual crops (Reyes, 2008). These practices and the need for agricultural land and forest products put additional pressures on remaining forests (Newmark, 2002; Stocking and Perkin). Environmental history The biodiversity value of the East Usambaras was recognized by the Germans during the colonial period. Until the1970s forestry wa s rooted in colonial era institutions and government efforts mainly focused on timber extraction (Nelson & Blomley, 2001). The reservation of forests for protective and commercial purposes began under the German colonial administration, although the main i nterest of the Germans in the Usambaras was on commercial agricultural estates (Hamilton and Bensted -Smith, 1989). German activities, including coffee cultivation and logging, are said to have heavily reduced the


33 original natural forests area in Usambaras but there are no exact figures on the extent of the forest loss (ibid ). After World War I the British expanded tea plantations, further reducing the natural forest cover. In the 1970s the government of Finland began to provide money to support timber harv esting and saw milling industries (Veltheim 2002) .But international concern over rampant, unchecked h arvesting led IUCN to conduct forest inventories in the mid -1980s and in the1990s donor sponsored conservation projects were launched. Two donor conservation projects began in 1991with the objective to collaborate with local communities and other stakeho lders to facilitate the creation of management systems to sustain conservation of biological diversity and catchment values of the East Usambaran mountain forests (Veltheim & Kijazi, 2002). Their goals were compatible with Tanzanian policy and supported Tanzanias national obligations under the convention of biological diversity, which stressed the need for poverty reduction, conservation of biodiversity and curbing deforestation (Veltheim, 2002). Reserved forests increased from about 17,000 ha of protected forests to more than 30,000 ha (Vihemki, 2005). Decentralized forest reforms in the 90s devolved authority to districts, however, financial capacity has lagged. District councils are charged with providing technical support and expertise to manage the t ransition to participatory forest management (PFM) approaches in forestry (Petersen & Sandhovel, 2001). However financial constraints limit their capacity to assist in PFM initiatives (Burgess et al., 2007). Where district officials may have failed, non -g overnmental organizations (NGOs) have filled the gaps. Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) was established in 1984 to


34 campaign for conservation of Eastern Arc forests and has promoted PFM in the East Usambaras since 1993 by providing technical support in establishing VFRs by providing assistance in preparing management plans, developing by -laws, and training villagers in disturbance monitoring, among other capacity building efforts. A landscape scale approach : The objective of establishing VFRs in the East Usambaras has primarily been to maintain forest connectivity between government forest reserves. All of the VFRs have been designated catchment forests to conserve biodiversity and thus fall under protection status. Protection status for biodivers ity conservation and water catchment leads to limited opportunities for local communities to earn cash income or generate local tangible benefits (Meshack & Raben, 2007). Most VFRs are from previous village common lands and gazettement in theory makes it less likely that these forests will be lost to uncontrolled encroachment and individualization or appropriation as gov ernment forest reserves (W ily, 2001 b). Currently, 13 reserves have been officially designated as VFRs (their management plans have been ap proved by the district). Additional villages are in the process of formalizing their ownership of reserves. A case of two villages: Community forestry efforts similar to PFM began in the East Usambaras in the 90s with multiple NGOs. East Usamabara Catchment Forest Project (EUCFP) implemented processes to gazette forests in the late 90s in two villages selected for this study, Mgambo and Zirai, and provided detailed reports of the processes. A compariso n of EUCFPs efforts in Mgambo and Zirai (Table 31) highlights significant aspects of the PFM processes. Firstly, both village forests had sacred or,


35 spiritual significance to the local communities, Handei and Kizingata respectively. In both cases local sanctions concerning use were maintained by cultural norms. In Handei the forest in question was the site of an important battle between rival Kilindi Chiefs in the early 19th century and had great ritual significance as a burial site and for rainmaking ceremonies. Similarly, Kizingata legend told of a river called Nenguka. Within this river there was a lake that used to climb on the hill and take chickens and sheep from the village; the area was also a place for rain prayers (Veltheim & Kijazi, 2001). Secondly, the initiative to gazette the forests differs. Handei was primarily driven by EUCFP, while Kizingata interest came from the villagers themselves. Although the initiative to gazette the Handei forest may have come from village leaders in the 90s, later, when EUCFP officers arrived and offered assistanc e to gazette the forest, village officials said they were unaware of the request (ibid). In the initial phases of gazettement a participatory mapping exercise was supposed to be conducted by conservators and the forest committee, who then involve community members in making decisions about user zones. According to Zulu (2001) participatory mapping was skipped and the communitys input concerning demarcation of zones and use was not included. The NGO proceeded with plans to gazette the forest, motivated by their observations of increased encroachment along the forest boundary and felling for pitsawing of many of the most valuable trees (Ellman, 1996) The EUCFP officials soon found that the village forest chairman was engaged in illegal pit sawing and that the village government had not taken any action. Officials confiscated the timber and the pitsaw, casting doubt in the community about their role of providing technical advice. Furthermore, Ellman (1996) reported It will be important for EUCFP to continue


36 by. adopting a somewhat more authoritarian approach than the participatory line pursued to date to ensure that the forest is not totally destroyed. Efforts continued but meetings were not well attended and community resistance led to abandonment of all plans seven months later (ibid). Table 3 1. Cr itical aspects to reserve development in two villages selected for this study Key aspects Handei VFR Kizingata VFR Sacred/spiritual value yes yes Source of the Initiative to gazette forest NGO Village council Outcome: Did the processes lead to the es tablishment of an official reserve? no yes On the other hand, initiative to gazette Kizingata forest came from the village government and was introduced in 1992 to the assembly. Their main reason for wanting to stake claim to the forest was to formall y secure it under village ownership. The state had recently established Nilo Reserve as a wildlife corridor nearby. Participatory processes to gazette the forest proceeded, but not without challenges. Conflict and negotiation with one farmer whose farm b ordered the reserve led to delays in implementation even though the border had been marked; the surveyor from East Usambara Conservation Area Management Programme (EUCAMP), newly changed from EUFCP, waited while villagers resolved this. Kizingata had a tot al of nine planning team meetings before finalizing the documents to send to the District Council and waited for about 1 year before receiving an approved management plan. These cases illustrate the challenges and complex processes in managing natural resources amidst diverse interests of stakeholders. Participatory processes do not necessarily lead to agreement. Meeting diverse stakeholder interests is difficult,


37 particularly when conflicts over land use persist, not to mention politics. In Handei local p olitical dynamics made it more difficult to achieve a collaborative partnership (Veltheim and Kijazi, 2002) and the committee was not being held accountable by the council or community members: the village forest chairman was cutting trees in the reserve Secondly, democratic processes, such as planning and negotiation, take time. The process of establishing a VFR incurs transaction costs among all stakeholders. Table 3 2. Village forest reserve details Village Reserve size (ha) Year procedure began Ye ar of district approval (MP) Main source of revenue Income 200708 (USD) Kwezitu 12.8 2002 2007 Researchers 20 Zirai 6.2 1992 2002 Researchers 10 Mgambo 156 1995 2001 Researchers and tourists ~190 exact figures are not known because updated records are not kept Initial Interest was shown in 1986 Data Collection Objectives: This study focused on assessing local institutional performance by assessing local village members participation in governance of VFRs. Attitudes and perceptions of local institutions were also measured to provide a better understanding of how well local governments have responded to local community members concerns. I used a mixed method approach that included surveys, interviews with key informants, and group discussions with villagers, village leaders, forest and public officers at the local and district offices. I also consulted secondary sources available in local offices. This study was conducted in 2008 in Tanga region, Muheza district, in the ward of Zirai located i n East Usambara mountains. Three villages in the uplands that have official VFRs were purposively selected. Each village was assumed to have an


38 operative forest committees and management plan, which gave them full autonomy over forest management decisions. Each legally defined village, composed of 5 7 subvillages, has 1252 2750 inhabitants according to a 2002 census. There is variation among villages in biophysical features, such as proximity to forested areas and tea and eucalyptus plantations. Rivers and streams are common and comprise part of the Sigi watershed, which supplies water to the lowland town of Tanga. Market access and infrastructure are generally limited in the uplands. Roads are poor and seasonal, and sometimes maintained by the tea company. Electricity is only available in the villages which neighbor the tea company to accommodate migrant workers, which in this case was one subvillage of Mgambo. The primary economic activity is smallholder agriculture with cassava, maize, bananas, and be ans as the main subsistence crops, while cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and smallholder tea are the more important cash crops that are commonly sold to intermediaries who come from neighboring towns. Local opportunities for employment include working for the tea company, small businesses, and public jobs in the government or schools. Surveys : A survey instrument was designed to elicit individuals quantity and quality of participation in forest management. Variables included frequency of meeting attendance, an d electoral participation. To measure quality of participation knowledge about the forest committee members, their responsibilities, the contents of the management plans, and VFR management were asked. Perceptions of local institutional performance were evaluated based on the ability to participate,


39 representation of concerns, transparency, quality of information and meetings, quality of leaders, and overall institutional performance. Lastly, attitudes toward forest reserves were measured in terms of benef its and values. Enumerators were trained in Botswana for 3 weeks in the participatory evaluation of community governance and performance. Ten surveys were pretested to make certain that questions measured the variables as intended. The survey format inclu ded open and closed format questions and indices, and questions were asked in multiple ways to ensure that responses were reliable. A random sampling approach was not chosen because of inaccuracies that using older census data would introduce and difficult y in securing interviews with pre -selected households. A nonprobability intercept sampling approach was used and sampling quotas were set to survey 20% of all households within each village, and 15% per subvillage. A total of 206 surveys were administered. Each survey was completed in approximately one hour in a single visit. Table 3 3 Village population and households surveyed Villages Households Total Population # HH sampled Men Women Total Kwezitu 432 2750 88 48 40 88 Zirai 244 1252 46 22 24 46 M gambo 454 2091 72 43 29 72 Total 1130 6093 208 94 80 206 Feedback meetings : After the surveys were completed feedback sessions were held in each village to disseminate findings in a participatory setting as opposed to traditional extractive methods. Meetings were a useful method to better understand operationalization of PFM mechanisms and community level dynamics. Village leaders and forest committee members announced meetings and invited survey respondents and non-respondents. Village leaders partici pated in Kwezitu and Zirais meetings and actively contributed to discussion. Questions from the surveys


40 were presented on flipcharts in a comprehensible manner so that illiterate participants could also understand and participate in the discussion. At least two moderators facilitated each discussion and all meeting minutes were recorded. Moderators avoided leading questions and restrained from contributing personal ideas to discussion. They read the survey question and the results and asked if the results were an accurate or representative measure of the variable in question. Group meetings generated discussion and revealed meanings about the relationships between community members and village council. The methodology was also useful as a tool to cross che ck information from personal interviews. For example, in key informant interviews with local leaders I was told that meetings occurred regularly. However, in feedback meetings, this was shown not to be the case. The group meetings were valid because partic ipants openly discussed issues; if there was disagreement or incorrect information, discussion followed and the correct information was recorded. After each meeting we tested intraobserver reliability to ensure that the minutes had been correctly record ed. Table 3 4. Participation in focus groups to disseminate and discuss research results Village Men Women Total Kwezitu 28 7 35 Zirai 35 11 46 Mgambo 13 6 19 Secondary Sources: Transparency and accountability in the handling of public revenue is an integral part of good governance (Lund and Treue, 2008) and locally available secondary sources were used. These included the forest committees record books, which included information about expenditure, and the management plans.


41 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Demographics Table 4 1 present s basic demographic information and highlights some of the differences between villages. As mentioned previously Mgambo is the village that is closest to the tea company, and so more immigrant workers are present, which probably accounts for difference in ethnicity and the higher number of women heads of household, who may have sought wage labor at the tea committee in order to support themselves. Committee membership is lower in Mgambo because they do not have an Allanblackia nut or butterfly project. Average acres owned are highest in Kwezitu, which may be because this village was settled later compared to the other villages by about 10 years. Note : Allanblackia is an indigenous tree that produces oily seeds that are locally sold. Table 4 1. Household survey demographic results Village Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Mean Age of respondents 45 43 49 Some level of primary education 82% 78% 82% Secondary 12% 2% 6% None 6% 20% 12% Mean Age of respondents 45 43 49 Average Members in HH 7 5 6 Women Heads of HH 6 4 19 Tea Company Employees 8 0 29 Government employee (household) 15 9 10 Committee membership (household) 15 5 3 Ethnicity: Saamba 70% 93% 49% Religion: Muslim Christian 45% 55% 81% 19% 56% 44% Land owned: Mean (acres) 8 6.5 4.5


42 The tables below present survey results grouped according to two broad themes: participation and attitudes. Participation results are discussed in terms of quantity and quality. Quantity includes voting in elections and meeting attendance. Quality of particip ation is measured in terms of peoples knowledge of VFR management and activities, such as the forest committees responsibilities and revenue management. Secondly, attitudes and perceptions are measured. Perceptions of VFR use and attitudes concerning the reserve are assessed, followed by attitudes about local village government performance. Relevant notes and explanations from feedback sessions that generated discussion are displayed in tables. Participation Quantity : Figure 4 1 measures voting particip ation in elections for the forest committee, which is supposed to occur every 3 years in a public assembly. In total less than 30% of respondents voted. There was also confusion over when the 3 year terms had begun and if they were when the VFR was demarca ted or after approval of the management plans, approximately one year later. In Kwezitu participants said that the committee is not representative of the village because not all subvillages have participating members as recommended. Tables 4 -3 and 44 d emonstrate that participation in meetings is also low. Forty seven percent of respondents among all villages reported they had not attended any meetings and 34% reported having attended zero meetings over the last year. Tanzanian law states that 50% of the assembly must be present for a meeting to take place. If the meeting is postponed for a later date, the attendance of the two meetings is combined and the meeting is said to have officially proceeded.


43 Figure 41. Participation in voting for forest commi ttee Table 4 2. Feedback comments about voting for forest committee Table 4 3. Frequency of meetings (%) attended over the last year Frequency Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total 0 31 47 65 47 1 9 14 6 9 2 25 25 13 21 3 23 8 8 14 4 12 5 8 9 Table 4 4. Number of months (%) since having attended a public meeting Number of Months Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total 1 3 months 44 32 14 30 4 6 months 23 20 8 17 7 12 months 0 2 4 2 1 year + 3 16 33 17 None 30 30 41 34 Kwezitu Elected in 2000, but no elections held since; many people did not attend meeting Zirai 1 st election in 2000 and none since; beginning of the official committee term was unclear; c ommunity members are uninvolved because the committee does not present reports Mgambo 1 st elections in 2001 at inception; no meetings since, all the subvillages are not represented on the committee


44 Table 4 5. Feedback comments Kwezitu Last meeting was in December 2007, Council fails to call meetings and low meeting attendance, Zirai Last meeting was held in April, July meeting was cancelled due to low participation Mgambo Last meeting was in January 2008; July meeting was cancelled due to low participation; to call a meeting the ward development committee must be contacted to apply pressure Responden ts who reported attending one or more meetings were asked their perceptions of what they thought of the last meeting they had attended, on a scale from very well to highly unsatisfactory (Table 4 -6). These results prompted debate in feedback sessions which will be discussed in more detail under perceptions of performance of the village council. Table 4 6. Respondents level of satisfaction with the last meeting they attended How well run was the meeting? Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total Very well 36 50 22 34 We ll 22 26 40 29 Neutral 12 14 7 11 Unsatisfactory 9 2 10 8 Highly unsatisfactory 2 0 0 1 Quality of Participation Information: Survey results indicate that, despite less than 32% of respondents in Mgambo and Kwezitu having seen the management plan, and 60% in Zirai (Figure 42) people know which harmful forest activities are prohibited (Table 47). There appears to be less certainty with reference to harvesting vegetables, dead firewood, medicinal plants, and practicing rituals (Table 4-8). Management plans regulate use through by laws, which permits these activities, in some cases in buffer zones, 2 days per week, or with a permit. Nevertheless, village councils have told people that they are not allowed to go into the reserve at all. This was report edly true for all reserves during the feedback


45 meetings; people said this was to rehabilitate the forests. It is not clear who actually made this decision. Zulu (2001) found that most people had heard the rules about access from other community members and had not actually seen the plan. Figure 42. Percentages of respondents who had seen the forest management plan Table 4 7. Knowledge of activies that are not permitted in VFRs Which activities are permitted? Yes No Grazing 6 94 Harvesting timber 5 95 Hunting 5 95 Burning 3 97 Cultivate crops 5 95 Collecting ropes 5 95 Table 4 8. Knowledge of activities permitted in the management plan Permitted activities Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total Harvesting Vegetables Yes 19 6 31 29 No 73 87 54 70 Do not know 6 6 15 14 Firewood Yes 23 6 52 30 No 70 87 42 64 Do not know 7 6 6 6 Medicine Yes 19 17 52 31 No 71 77 31 58 Do not know 10 6 17 12 Rituals Yes 3 55 59 44 No 81 34 25 41 Do not know 17 11 16 15


46 Table 4 9. Management Plan (Mgambo) Objectives 1. To Protect biodiversity and ritual areas 2. Minimize use of forest products 3. Advertise and connect reserves to the tourism network 4. Improve environmental conservation 5. Encourage creation of other resources, ie. Handicrafts 6. Involve elders with indigenous knowledge and youth knowledge in conservation By laws that require license or permission 1.Collecting forest products like medicinal plants, vegetables, mushrooms 2.Cutting materials 3.Collection of stone and sand need perm ission from committee and district council 4.Beekeeping 5.Maintenance of forest path 6.Forest guide to guide tourists and researchers 7.Fodder cutting By laws that do not require permission 1.Fetching water 2. Collecting dried and dropped firewood for hom e use 3. Collecting vegetables and mushrooms for home use 4.Ritual activities Zones of use Sacred Zone Biodiversity and research Ecotourism Utilization Water source When respondents were asked if they knew the names of executive forest committee members approximately 60% of all respondents were able to name members (Table 410). In feedback sessions people mentioned the importance of knowing members, otherwise people do not know who to report illegal activities to. In Mgambo, the forest committees treasurer is the Village Executive Officer (VEO), an appointed officer. This is contentious and viewed by the forest committee as a power struggle between the local government leaders and the forest committee. Of the 3 villages, Mgambo


47 generates relatively mo re revenue from tourists and researchers compared to the other villages. A forest committee member said that when they petitioned the forest committee right to manage money, the VEO said he would remove that member. Table 4 10. People who reported knowing the names of forest committee members FC members Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Totals Chair 64 74 48 59 Secretary 67 79 44 60 Treasurer 75 79 See note Patrol officers 63 70 47 57 1. Mgambo does not have a treasurer; the VEO is the acting treasurer. Figure 43. Knowledge of the committees responsibility in c learing the boundary Note : (2 x year is the correct response) Sur vey respondents were asked whether they knew about boundary clearance responsibilities and responses were coded in terms of correct and incorrect answers (Figure 43). Explanations given for the high number of incorrect answers were that the forest commit tee does not present activity reports so people do not know what they do. In Zirai, members of the forest committee said they slash the boundary twice a year, but since incentives are lacking it is difficult to find volunteers. Similarly, among all village s payments for committee members depends, to a large extent, on the revenues


48 generated by the VFR. Lower revenues usually lead to lower payments, if any, for forest committee activities. Benefits and Financial management The study site VFRs generate revenue primarily from tourism and research permit, however even these are relatively low. Respondents were asked if their res erve generated revenue (Table 411). In Zirai, participants said that in the 7 years since the forest has been gazetted, the forest committee has not presented any reports. Mgambo, however, is estimated to generate at least 120 USD per annum, but recent r eceipts were not available. I know that a study group visits Mgambo on an annual basis for research purposes; however the most recent revenue records were from 2005. In Mgambo, the VEO is the treasurer by default. Visitors stop and pay for research permit s at the local office, where the VEO works. I have seen him take money, issue a receipt to the tourists and not record the transaction for the forest committee. During the feedback session participants angrily expressed that the committee has no control ov er this and that the VEO keeps the money and decides what to do with the money. Since people do not know if the reserve generates revenue, it is evident that people also do not know who is responsible for spending as shown by 68% of respondents. The forest committee is responsible for enforcement of by laws per the management plan and sanctions are enforced through fines. I was told that illegal activities have been fined in all villages. In total 77% of respondents did not have knowledge of these fines. I visited each of the reserves and witnessed breaching of the laws in 2 cases. In Zirai, there was agricultural encroachment and the boundary was not slashed. In Mgambo, we heard dogs and voices inside the reserve, which suggested that hunting or other ille gal activities were taking place in the reserve.


49 Table 4 11. Feedback comments concerning forest committee activities. Table 4 12. Respondents (%) knowledge of VFR financial aspects Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total Revenues Yes 31 23 48 35 No 30 13 3 1 6 Do not know 40 64 49 49 Fines Yes 24 4 34 23 No 65 62 36 54 d/k 12 34 30 23 Spending decisions Village Council 11 10 14 12 Forest Committee 26 5 23 20 Do not know 63 85 63 68 Attitudes and Perceptions This section presents results c oncerning values, perceptions of enforcement in protection of VFRs, and village government performance. An index was used to measure VFR values in terms of importance (Figure 4-4). Respondents were asked to rate the level of importance for each item on a scale of 1 5; 5 being most important, 4: less important, 3: important, 2: not important, 1: very unimportant. Table 9 presents the mean values of aggregated villages. Environmental values were considered very important overall, which is similar to Zulus (2001) study in Mgambo, in which the most Kwezitu No reports of revenue have been given, the commmittee is not known to community, if there are illegal activities they do not know who to report to, do not know who handles the money or if the reserve gets money Zirai They do not know how money the committee makes is spent; there have been no reports since 2000, the committee mostly volunteers but people assume they are paid Mgambo No reports have been given of committee activities, there is conflict between the committee and leaders; the leaders do not want committee to have a treasurer, there are no reciepts kept, the committee used to keep reciepts, now the money goes to t he VEO who does not write reciepts. The money is kept by the village government and it is not known how it is spent.


50 common response given for why forests are valued was that forests regulate climatic conditions and are a source of rivers. This may be in part a response to the efforts of Tanzania Forest Conservation Group ( TFCG) and other environmental NGOs that have promoted forest conservation to improve livelihoods. Tangible values, such as meat and building materials, were less important. Since people have been told they are not allowed to access the reserve this may account for the lower ranking. Table 4 -5 shows that respondents perceive the financial benefits of reserves to be somewhat important overall. The reserves generate low financial benefits, this response can be explained by peoples perception of the expected potential of the reserves. Ecotourism was considered in Mgambo and a hotel was proposed but decided against (Zulu, 2001). Worship is likely ranked low in importance because people practice Muslim and Christian faiths, which they often referred to as modern religion (Table 46). Figure 44. Perceived importance of environmental service values


51 Figure 45. Perceived importance of financial benefits Figure 46. Perceived importance of tangible forest products Except worship People perceived by laws as being effective in reserve protection from illegal activities (Figure 4-7 & Table 4 13). Approximately 60% of respondents said that people do not enter the reserve. Zulus (2001) study included a transect in Handei and found evidence of illegal utilization of resources including grazing activities, pit sawing, palm leaves collection, and small areas of recent cultivation.


52 Figure 47. Perceptions of how well by laws are followed Table 4 13. Responses to if people collect forest products from reserve Collect products Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total Yes 19 19 26 21 No 74 70 33 59 Do not know 7 11 41 20 There is a strong positive trend that shows that people strongly support establishment of VFRs (Figure 48). Too, when asked how people felt about the si ze of the VFR (Table 4-14), most people reported that it was too small. This trend may be associated with peoples perceptions of the environmental benefits that forests provide, despite low tangible, financial benefits. In feedback sessions it was emphasi zed that expansion of VFRs is not possible because of the need for more agricultural land in response to declining soil fertility and a growing population. Figure 49 measures the perceived degree of community members involvement in decision making. The question specifically asked how the village council made decisions with respect to the assembly. The first three categories reflect a stronger top down approach whereas the last two categories represent negotiation and a democratic


53 approach. Results show that most people perceive thems elves as being informed of decisions and less people think that decision making is democratic because they have the right to change decisions and to tell the village council what to do. Figure 48. Level of support for reserve Table 4 14. Perceptions (%) of the size of the reserve S ize of the VFR Kwezitu Zirai Mgambo Total Too large 5 9 11 8 Just right 27 21 33 28 Too small 48 45 42 45 D/K 21 26 14 20 Figure 49. Perceptions of how village council makes decisions


54 Table 4 15. Feedback comments about decision making Figure 410 shows peoples opinions concerning the types of decisions made by village leaders and whether they are in selfish interests or consider community members needs. Figure 410. Perceptions of how village council makes decisions Mgambo was the only village in which people expressed mistrust in the feedback meetings over the councils management of the reserve (Figure 4 -11). For example, to build a school, timber from the reserve was cut and leaders were not transparent in managing their activities about how much they needed, was cut or what the timber was used for. Durin g the feedback session comments were made that the illegal pit sawing Kwezitu The VG does not take care of us ; many decisions are made without our knowing or being told Zirai People are involved and implmentation is poor, but we have the right to change decisions Mgambo D ecisions are made without telling us, ie. the milling machine was purchased without democratic decision making and the profits are not transparently presented; district reports are not presented, the council collects timber and dead logs from the reserve, nobody knows how many or where they are, no information was provided; the council does not support development, even decision to build schools were made w/o out information


55 had not been controlled and that community member have lost confidence in leaders and committee. In order to harvest timber from the reserve a permit must first be issued The council sub mitted a permit to harvest 3 logs and the permit said the work should be done without a contractor, but the village government used a contractor, the village chairman (Zulu, 2001). He charged 2/3 of the planks, while 1/3 was to be used for the school (ibid). Community members said that an official report was never presented. Figure 411. Perceived levels of trust in village council to manage reserve Perceptions of Village Government Performance An index was used to measure peoples perceptions in 7 categ ories related to local village government performance. The strength of items was based on a scale of 15, with 1 being very much, to 5 being very poor. It is important to note how neutral was defined by enumerators administering the survey. It does not imp ly that one does not care, rather that their perception of management falls in the middle, such as sometimes it is good, sometimes it is not. Although enumerators asked respondent to specify, often when they thought it was a case of 50/50 they selected n eutral.


56 With the exception of honesty of financial management respondents had mostly positive perceptions of village government performance. Figure 412 reports peoples ability to participate as good overall (~80%). But, in Kwezitu people during feedback sessions complained that these results were not totally accurate because leaders often did not make efforts to involve community members, which was similarly heard in Mgambo and Zirai. Figure 412. Perceptions of the ability to participate in decision making In terms of how well the council represented peoples concerns (Figure 3 -12) there was debate in the feedback session that not all peoples concerns were represented. In Kwezitu the village council was blamed for not implementing the action plan. In Mgambo, participants complained that they couldnt know if the council represented concerns because they do not provide information in meetings when they have them. Presenting results about the quality of meetings generated a lot of discussion during feedback sessions (Figure 4-14 and Table417). Furthermore, because meetings are not held often it is difficult to assess the transparency in financial management


57 (Figure 415). People were more critica l in this response and fewer respondents rated there government as very good in honesty of financial management, less than 20%. Figure 413. Perceptions of how well village council represents local concerns Table 4 16 Feedback comments concerning representation Figure 414. Perceptions of the quality of meetings Kwezitu Not all complaints are well represented, we trust our govt but they are not good in implementation, project implementation is slow, we do have the right to vote, otherwise the leaders would not be there Zirai Reports are not presented to the community; the VEO said reports arent presented because attendance is low Mgambo There is no information presented because meetings are not held; reports are not presented


58 Table 4 17. Feedback comments concerning perceptions of quality of meetin gs Issues concerning transparency affect the quality of information people have access to, but survey results here were also positive (Figure 415). While people voiced their concerns in meetings about limited information around 60% of respondents r eported the quality of information provided in meetings to be good or very good (Figure 4 -18). Figure 415. Perceptions of honesty of financial management Kwezitu Government does not call meetings, people do not attend, low participation and people are discouraged, meetings are far away in the next subvillage, there is conflict over the village boundaries, we want to be two separate villages; most of us do not care about meetings but the activity reports are important: we are tired of broken promises; there are arrangements but no implementation; we used to be informed by subvillage head 7 days in advance, this no longer happens Zirai Most people do no t attend meetings; an assembly is held once a year, the other meetings are small; subvillage meetings are held once a month: the village leaders said: we try to conduct meetings but people do not participate; the council tries to conduct meetings but pe ople do not come so they do not get information; meeting are held in the subvillages on a monthly basis Mgambo There are problems with low attendance; we cannot pressure the council ourselves the ward has the power to call a meeting, not the people the mselves


59 Table 4 18. Feedback session comments concerning honesty of financial management Figure 416. Perceptions of quality of information provided Table 4 19. Feedback comments concerning quality of information Respondents were asked what they thought about th e quality of their leaders (Figure 417). More information concerning this topic was revealed through open ended responses and group discussions. One respondent strongly criticized Kwezitus village leaders decisions and tried to organize people to remove him. Although community members have the right to remove corrupt leaders the procedure is lengthy and requires working upwards through the hierarchy of institutions. It is discouraging that community members themselves do not have the power to directly demand and pressure leaders, Kwezitu Do not k now how money was spent from development projects; money was not discussed in meetings; the meeting broke up after questioning; member are not honetly informed : the council received 200, 000 and it is not known how money was spent; poor attendance is a problem Zirai It is not known how development project money is spent, it goes to the ward instead of to the village; not all information is provided Mgambo We cannot trust the council because they do not provide information. The milling machine was fun ded with development funds but the leaders are not honest about how funds are managed Kwezitu Good information about money is not provided; information is sometimes clear but implementation is poor, many villagers do not know what the council is doing Zirai Financial reports are not clear Mgambo Financial reports are not given


60 but must work through district government officials. In Kwezitu there were also frequent comments about conflicts between leaders that were slowing down project implementation. Figure 417. Perceptions of quality of leaders In summary, respondents were asked their overall opinion of governments performance and survey results show that most people do not seem entirely pleased with performance (Figure 418). When presenting these results in Kwezitu people said in actuality tha t they were not satisfied. Similarly in the other two villages, people identified shortcomings in village government that needed to be rectified, many of which concerned meetings and quality of information discussed above. Figure 418. Perceptions of ov e rall village council performance


61 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Participation Survey results show that community members quantity and quality of participation in forest governance is low. Low participation rates in meetings were common in all the sampled villages Discussions during the feedback sessions provided more insight into understanding why. First, the local village council does not call meetings in a timely manner and when they do, they do not announce them properly to notify all the subvillages. Conseque ntly, many meetings are cancelled because of the low attendance rates. Village leaders and community members voiced frustration with this pattern during feedback sessions. This cycle of infrequently calling meetings and cancelling them when they do occur i s perpetuating a breakdown of the main mechanism intended to establish participation and accountability. Public meetings have the potential to be an important and integral means to increase government responsiveness and effectiveness by providing opportuni ties for negotiation and information sharing between local people and their leaders. Comments given during feedback sessions show that people are not satisfied with the content of meetings when they do occur, specifically where information about financial expenditures is concerned. This weakness and its effects are more acute in the case of elite capture of forest revenues in Mgambo. The village executive officer (VEO) has been the sole manager of revenues and has failed to keep accounts and report the inc ome to the assembly. The forest committee has attempted to rightfully access these funds and been threatened and discouraged by village leaders. Since there is no


62 transparency about revenues, most community members do not about these funds or have the wher ewithal to demand to know how they are spent. Too, low accountability and transparency indicate that there is resistance from village leaders in implementing devolutionary reforms that cede decision making authority to: 1., the assembly and 2., the fores t committee. In each village, these institutions are relatively powerless to demand accountability from their leaders. People do not know their rights and so do not know what they can demand. Low knowledge and low capacity are plausible reasons the surveys and the feedback sessions yielded different results. Community members have low expectations from their leaders as a result of low knowledge and consequently, capacity to demand accountability. Survey responses reflected favorable attitudes toward natural resource management and village government performance while participants in feedback meetings were strongly critical. When the surveys were presented to the groups most participants disagreed with the results. Again, this may be explained by low knowledge, particularly in the case of women. Although women contribute to both the formal and informal forestry sectors in many significant ways the near absence of women in policymaking roles and processes has led to development strategies that specifically aim to encourage womens participation concerning forestry ( URT, 2007). The National Forest Policy of 1998 addresses the need to mainstream gender in forestry by involving women in private and community forestry activities in a gender sensitive manner (URT, 2001). Nevertheless, it was evident women are still not very involved in local government processes compared to men. Their workloads are significant barriers to participation in events outside the household.


63 Methodologically speaking, this finding highlights the importance of mixed method approaches toward understanding dynamic institutional relationships. Attitudes as a standalone measure of institutional performance may yield inaccurate conclusions about performance that lead to incorrect assumptions about how well mechanisms of accountability and participation actually operate. Perceptions of Protected Areas Village forest reserves in the East Usambara uplands in general generate low income and are difficult to access. Despite their low revenue and financial value, respondents in surveys and feedback sessions reported high importance concerning village forest reserve (VFR) environmental attitudes. These positive attitudes differ from narratives in literature that portray communities living adjacent t o protected areas in negative light. Reasons for stronger support likely stem from ownership values: the community has established official tenure over a forest in an otherwise uncertain tenure regime. Many of catchment forests in the East Usambaras do not generate revenue and are relatively small forest fragments. Nevertheless, there is hope that these reserves will generate tourism benefits in the future. Reserves are intended to pay for themselves, and in Kwezitu and Zirai the costs of management to the forest committee are significant. Among all villages patrolling and imposing fines for illegal activities were low. Generating payments to motivate the committee could improve the condition of the forest.


64 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION Reality The National Forest Act and Policy devolve jurisdictional powers to local communities by establishing local resource tenure at the village level. However, this study shows that implementation of reforms and decentralizing good governance has been difficult. Decentralization outcomes are shaped by many factors, including local capacity, incentive structures, ideologies, political and social histories, forms of local social organization and the strength and manipulations of elite actors (Larson &Ribot, 2001). This studys main focus was to measure governance at the village level and has shown that poor governance undermines the effectiveness of meeting each of these objectives. The discussion below will list each of the participatory forest management (PFM) objectives followed b y findings in terms of how well each objective is being met in the study site. Objective 1: Improved forest governance at village and district level through effective and accountable natural resource management institutions Source: (URT, 2002) Although t he assembly and the forest committee have significant discretionary power on paper, in reality, these institutions are constrained by local contexts. In general, leaders are not downwardly accountable to their constituents. Devolving village autonomy in benefit sharing and revenue management are trademarks of PFM. Crooke and Manor (1994) have found that in many cases despite substantial democratic elements having been introduced into the decentralizing process greater accountability has been difficult to ob tain. In Mgambo, corrupt leaders are diverting funds and rendering the forest committee and the assembly powerless to intervene.


65 Decentralized forest management is dependent upon democratic leadership and a n informed assembly. Wily (2001 b) has observed t hat CBFM invigorates flagging village organizations, challenges village leaders to be more active and accountable, and revives village meetings. This study, however, reveals that many of the local governance mechanisms are weak, and PFM does not appear to have led to more democratic participation in forest management or broader village council decision making. Objective 2: Improved livelihoods through increased forest revenue and secure supply of subsistence forest products PFMs mechanisms to improve live lihoods are largely determined by the locally generated management plans. The management plans articulate the terms of access and permit collection of products, like vegetables and non forest timber products (NTFPs) within the buffer zone. The village council has prohibited most subsistence uses, which raises questions about the costs of living next to a reserve and subsequently, support from adjacent forest communities for conservation. Since accountability mechanisms are not well implemented the perspec tives of people living next to the reserve have not been accounted for: in most cases they do not know what the management plan says. Secondly, revenue is dependent upon characteristics of the resource. Village forest reserves in the East Usambaras do no t have high economic potential because they are protected under biodiversity status. The majority of fragments are small and remote. Although devolution of tenure is important some argue that meaningful authority is only devolved when communities capture e conomic value from their forests (Kallonga et al., 2003; Blomley, et al. 2009). The central government has largely ceded control


66 over protected areas that have low economic value. Mgambo has potential to generate small revenue, and if handled transparently and fairly, it could cover the transaction costs associated with management. The other two villages do not generate revenue to compensate the forest committee in their management activities. Thus the forest committee does not invest time in management, which leads to ineffectual conservation and protection from increasing forest resource pressures. Objective 3: Improved forest quality, through sustainable management objectives The management plans clearly state objectives to sustainably manage VFRs for pro tection of biodiversity. Observational visits for this study suggest that management is not implemented according to the plans. Because of limited capacity, the forest committee does not patrol frequently, maintain responsibilities or regularly sanction illegal uses of the forests. A biodiversity assessment of each VFR is needed to assess their value in conserving biodiversity. Issues of Scale PFM decentralizes control to village level governments, however there is a need to address the question about where ownership of the forest is vested and to move devolution into the hands of those people with the most rooted stake in the future of the forest (Wily 2001b ). Based on proximity and long-term rel ationships with the resource, the protection and management that may be most efficiently and cheaply carried out is to devolve ownership to the local community neighboring the forest area (ibid ). Present bureaucratic frameworks and oversight in managing reserves that are relatively small forest fragments incur transaction costs on multiple levels. Furthermore, they do not appear to be effective in garnering effective forest management.


67 Perhap s a plan to own and manage based on socio-spatial proximity with the forest should determine who is involved, particularly since this proximity is usually under laid with the strongest customary rights to the forest ( Wily 2001b). Recommendations The rol e of VFRs forests in maintaining connectivity is not known because it has not been comprehensively measured how well these forests are conserving biodiversity. This has serious implications for the East Usambaras, which are undergoing rapid land use chang es in response to agricultural conversion. If trends of declining soil fertility and increasing population continue it is questionable how well these forests will be protected if management continues as it is now. To conclude, if the mechanisms through which improved governance of natural resources and local institutions are not remedied, it is highly likely that these forests that are not presently well protected will not withstand local land use pressures. Broader scale effects of mismanagement of forest s and land use in the area will have regional downstream effects on water use, and global effects on values such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration. A general theme of decentralization experiences is that the development of democracy can be a very slow process (Blair, 2000; ) and that the introduction of democratic institutions will not necessarily lead to democratic politics (Luckham et al., 2000). This case study demonstrates how low levels in participation undermine accountability mechanisms. For estry reforms have so far been successful in their early stages in securing village control over land use rights. One effective way of encouraging democratic politics is to improve the distribution of information in the hope that it will improve effective participation. Also, providing more tangible incentives, and changing the scale of the approach could activate and include


68 more community members in local governance of village forest reserves, which may lead to overall improvements in local governance performance.


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78 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Renee Bullock grew up in New Jersey and at a young age had a dream of going to Africa. After attending Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin to earn a bachelors degree in Biology she joined the Peace Corps She served in Zambia in a program called Linking Income, Food, and the Environment (LIFE) and lived in a rural village that neighbored a national park Her two year experience was very fulf illing It also showed her the importance of incorporating social perspectives and livelihoods in to achieving conservation objectives.