Governments are Decentralizing
            Responsibility for Forest
       Management in Africa, but Are Rural
       Peo...
I will argue that:
       • Tenure & secure rights to land are
         important, but not enough to improve
         live...
This Presentation

       • Summarizes some findings of 4 regional
         studies on “Who Owns Africa’s Forests”
       ...
History: Waves of Change in Forest
                  Tenure in Africa
       • Early indigenous (forest dwellers) communal...
Forest Tenure – Where are we in Africa?
       • Most of “forest” – State owned even if increased
         emphasis on com...
Various forms of decentralized forests
       • Community & decentralized forests in some
         West African countries ...
Policy & Law changes – But has
                Anything Changed???

          We have lots of good laws/policies – but are...
Tanzania – an example
  Forest type                                        Area
  Central Forest Reserves (managed        ...
But are we really making progress in
      decentralized forest Tenure in Africa??
  Forest:       % in Africa % in Latin ...
What does this mean? - Get beyond policy &
             legal words so as to
       • Encourage ownership rights not just ...
For Rural People - Forests for What?

       • Non-Timber Forest Products (fruits,
         medicines, gums, resins, oils ...
Are rights secure?
       • In decentralized forest management –
         extent & scale to which Government can
         ...
Equity & Gender
       • Its much more than “community”! – whose rights
         & responsibilities within a group/village...
Do devolved rights reduce poverty?
       • Poverty & forests often go hand in hand in
         a “vicious cycle”
       •...
But the Forests are Hugely Valuable!!

   Country          Forests & GDP                    Econ Value                   O...
Key Opportunities
       • Tenure rights – important but ability to negotiate,
         defend & benefit from
       • Equ...
Some Threats
     • If decentralized – Is there adequate support (technical,
       financial, management) for communities...
Some Conclusions
  • Official data not reflect policy rhetoric of community
    forestry – with exceptions, nor the richne...
So:
       • Its more than devolved rights, more than communities
         managing forests, its more than ownership (all ...
Challenges for us, even with increased
       community ownership:
    • How can we demonstrate the REAL ($, cultural,
   ...
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Edmund Barrow, et al.:Governments are Decentralizing Responsibility for Forest Management in Africa, but Are Rural People Able to Take on Their Rights?

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Keynote Presentation delivered by Edmund Barrow, IUCN

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Edmund Barrow, et al.:Governments are Decentralizing Responsibility for Forest Management in Africa, but Are Rural People Able to Take on Their Rights?

  1. 1. Governments are Decentralizing Responsibility for Forest Management in Africa, but Are Rural People Able to Take on their Rights? Edmund Barrow, Isilda Nhantumbo, Kamugisha-Ruhombe Jones, Rene Oyono & Savadogo Moumini International Union for the Conservation of Nature 1
  2. 2. I will argue that: • Tenure & secure rights to land are important, but not enough to improve livelihoods & sustainably manage forests • Rural people need: – Greater sharing of power (equity, gender); – Ability to organize, have rules, & sanction; – Ability to negotiate as “equals”; – Ability to process & value add; and the – Ability to competively enter the market. International Union for the Conservation of Nature 2
  3. 3. This Presentation • Summarizes some findings of 4 regional studies on “Who Owns Africa’s Forests” (RRI partners); & • Will look at tenure & decentralization conditions needed for rural communities to take on their rightful role in forest management International Union for the Conservation of Nature 3
  4. 4. History: Waves of Change in Forest Tenure in Africa • Early indigenous (forest dwellers) communal forest tenure disrupted & dislocated by migrations (to appx 1900); • State as master of land & forest (colonial & post colonial, 1900 – 1990’s); and • Post 1990’s Forest reforms & decentralization (both to trees on farm, and in the forest). Created complexity of tenure & decentralization regimes – with overlaps (customary-statutory), & conflicts – over 35 countries in Africa now have “community forestry” on “books” International Union for the Conservation of Nature 4
  5. 5. Forest Tenure – Where are we in Africa? • Most of “forest” – State owned even if increased emphasis on community • Of 9 most forested countries – Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroon, Congo & Zambia show increasing community ownership (approx Ha 6 million) • In W. Africa – increases in forest land for local communities in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Gambia – but data incomplete (approx Ha 3.6 Mill) (Source: RRI, 2008) International Union for the Conservation of Nature 5
  6. 6. Various forms of decentralized forests • Community & decentralized forests in some West African countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal) – “terroire villegois”, & village forests in Tanzania • Decentralized to Area Councils (Gambia, Niger, Sudan) • Joint (or Collaborative) forest management promoted between Government and communities (Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon) International Union for the Conservation of Nature 6
  7. 7. Policy & Law changes – But has Anything Changed??? We have lots of good laws/policies – but are we really implementing them? & has this translated into a greater ability of rural people to both better manage & benefit from the forest? In general – rights to less valuable forests &/or products devolved, not high value forest products (except trials in Ghana, Tanzania); varying levels of planning & restrictions imposed International Union for the Conservation of Nature 7
  8. 8. Tanzania – an example Forest type Area Central Forest Reserves (managed 12.3 mill Ha (36.5%) by central gov.) Local Authority Forest Reserves 1.6 mill Ha (4.8%) (managed by Districts Village forest reserves (managed by 2 mill Ha (5.9%) (4.1 mill Ha under or village), area increasing with in process of being transferred to registration villages in over 2,300 villages) Private forests (private sector) 61,000 Ha (0.18%) Forests on general lands (non- 17.7 mill Ha (52.6%) reserved, de facto community) Sacred, traditional forests (ones 370 Ha “formally known”) Totals 33,661,370 Ha Source: Blomley et. al. 2008 International Union for the Conservation of Nature 8
  9. 9. But are we really making progress in decentralized forest Tenure in Africa?? Forest: % in Africa % in Latin America % in Asia Administered 98% 33% 66% by Government Use by local 1% 8% 3% communities Owned by local less than 25% 25% communities 1% Owned by less than 34% 6% individual 1% Source: RRI, 2008 (based on Statutory data sets of FAO & governments International Union for the Conservation of Nature 9
  10. 10. What does this mean? - Get beyond policy & legal words so as to • Encourage ownership rights not just “use” rights • As ownership is stronger (incentives, exclusion, reduced conflicts) • Basis for investment & livelihoods, & can benefit all (forest goods & services) • Get beyond commercial timber forestry to forests for people (community based forestry) • Will reduce forest conflict, & be a strong platform for managing for “climate change” International Union for the Conservation of Nature 10
  11. 11. For Rural People - Forests for What? • Non-Timber Forest Products (fruits, medicines, gums, resins, oils etc.) • Grazing & browsing (pastoralists) • Building materials • Cultural/spiritual values • And Yes – timber & environmental services (but not the main focus) International Union for the Conservation of Nature 11
  12. 12. Are rights secure? • In decentralized forest management – extent & scale to which Government can withdraw rights undermines decentralization (e.g. Central Africa) • If communities have ownership – can they make best use of their rights? – to manage, process, value add? (plans, permits, taxes, rules) • Attainment of rights often delayed (even if conditions met) by “lack of willingness” International Union for the Conservation of Nature 12
  13. 13. Equity & Gender • Its much more than “community”! – whose rights & responsibilities within a group/village • Women often “de facto” providers at farm level, yet with little power to manage • Legislating not enough without implementation (which may result in power struggles & conflict) • Effects of culture & tradition on gender & rights of different groups (excuse to hold onto power!) • Elite capture (from within or external) – esp. If resources increase in value International Union for the Conservation of Nature 13
  14. 14. Do devolved rights reduce poverty? • Poverty & forests often go hand in hand in a “vicious cycle” • Contribution of forests to GDP, National accounts negligible, as data not captured even if very important at local level • Inability to add value & market (beyond subsistence) mean real value of rights reduced International Union for the Conservation of Nature 14
  15. 15. But the Forests are Hugely Valuable!! Country Forests & GDP Econ Value Other values Sudan 10% $650 mill p.a.; Gum Arabic 66% pop involved with $80 mill p.a. forestry. 70% depend on fuel wood Tanzania 3.3% (& 10% of 2.8% value of agric. Sector; 92% depend on fuel exports) In Shinyanga $14 p.p. p.m. wood for 2.25 million people (800+ villages) South 2% or 1.7% (FAO) $4,674 mill p.a. – 55% of Over 325,000 Africa which NTFP employed Namibia 6% Devils claw worth $10 mill 89% rural use fuel p.a. wood (20% urban) Uganda 2% (Min finance) Forest business worth 90% fuel wood, & or 6% (Forest $165 mill p.a. 90% herbal remedies sector) International Union for the Conservation of Nature 15
  16. 16. Key Opportunities • Tenure rights – important but ability to negotiate, defend & benefit from • Equity & Gender in context of elite capture & male conservatism, but can create space for democratization • Minor or high value products – Moves to higher value forest products (e.g. Ghana, Tanzania)? • Shift from Government to Private sector – can create opportunities for partnerships with communities • Role of JFM/CM – community stake in reserved estate – but high transaction & planning costs • Climate change may enhance importance of sector & need for enhanced community rights International Union for the Conservation of Nature 16
  17. 17. Some Threats • If decentralized – Is there adequate support (technical, financial, management) for communities to use opportunities in policy & law? • Often very high transaction costs (time, plans, rules, regulations, permits, taxes, delays, corruption) • Role of customary rights (recognized?) – evictions, contested rights, encroachment – forest dwellers, pastoralists – its an ethical issue as well • Forests low on agenda – therefore less focus in PRSPs (Governments, donors) – though climate change is changing that! • Population pressures & displaced peoples International Union for the Conservation of Nature 17
  18. 18. Some Conclusions • Official data not reflect policy rhetoric of community forestry – with exceptions, nor the richness of community forests • Emphasis & accelerate changes from State to Community Owned • Improved forest tenure not yet result in improved livelihoods – nature of resources devolved, community support mechanisms in place • Forest sector not really in national accounts - undervalues its importance • Forest projects short term, yet forest management long term (investment, management, support, markets) • Civil society role in facilitating change & translating rhetoric to action – key to future success International Union for the Conservation of Nature 18
  19. 19. So: • Its more than devolved rights, more than communities managing forests, its more than ownership (all of which are critical); • Its more than “small” (but important) subsistence benefits; • Lies in ability of rural communities to invest & enter the market; and • Requires longer term investment & removal of perverse (negative) incentives. Goes beyond tenure & management plans to Sustainable Forest Management as business for communities International Union for the Conservation of Nature 19
  20. 20. Challenges for us, even with increased community ownership: • How can we demonstrate the REAL ($, cultural, environmental, land use) value of forests (& trees) to rural livelihoods & livelihood improvement? • How can these values be integrated in national accounting? • How can local/customary institutions and knowledge systems be better integrated into more formal knowledge & institutional systems?? • What will it take for rural communities to be able to negotiate on a EQUAL level with others (Gov, Private sector, NGOs etc.) International Union for the Conservation of Nature 20

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