In Tanzania, Participatory Forest Management (PFM) was introduced in order to address the challenge of deforestation which continues at alarming rate. Equally, PFM aimed to involve communities adjacent to forests in management of forest resources while at the same time accrue economic benefits. PFM consists of Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) and Joint Forest Management (JFM). CBFM takes place on village land, in forests that are owned by the village while JFM takes place in Central or Local Government forest reserves (FRs) whereby owner of the FR and adjacent communities jointly manage and share benefits accrued from the FR. This study aimed to assess the role of PFM in sustainable exploitation of forest resources, equitable economic benefits and good forest governance. Generally, the study concludes that PFM can and does contribute to sustainable utilisation of forest resources and that, households across wealth categories benefit economically from PFM. However, there is a slight tendency that the rich benefit more than the poor. Similarly, the study concludes that, while CBFM and JFM have formally established appropriate institutions for PFM, this has not promoted enfranchisement and inclusiveness. The problem of elite capture in PFM should be addressed through information and education.
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation, 2013, Vol 83, Issue 1, p. 28-42