Socio-Cultural Factors Influencing Community Participation in the Joint Forest Management: A Case of Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve, Tanzania
This study emphasizes the critical role of participatory approaches, particularly joint forest management (JFM), in addressing the escalating threat to forests posed by human activities. Focusing on the socio-cultural aspects, the research explores the factors influencing community participation in joint forest management within Tanzania's Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve (USNFR), employing the Socio-Ecological System theory to underscore the potential of community-driven resource management. The study employed a cross-sectional research design, collecting data through questionnaires, focus group discussions, and interviews involving 190 respondents from five villages spanning Kilolo, Mufindi, and Mlimba Districts. Quantitative data underwent descriptive statistical analysis, while qualitative data were subjected to thematic analysis. The majority of the respondents were relatively young, likely due to their physical fitness and heightened environmental commitment. Conversely, older individuals were underrepresented, likely due to age-related limitations. Gender imbalances were observed, reflecting deeply ingrained gender-related barriers in societal norms. Education levels varied, with a significant portion having completed primary education, while higher levels of education were less represented. The respondents were predominantly married, indicating a probable tie to family responsibilities. Farming was the main occupation for the majority, highlighting their dependence on forest resources. Effective communication emerged as pivotal during village assemblies and workshops, fostering awareness and empowerment for successful joint forest management. Cultural factors significantly influenced community participation in JFM within the USNFR. Ritual activities, local knowledge, and power dynamics played key roles, creating taboos and restrictions that reinforced cultural ties to conservation, leveraging the influence of community elders. To enhance community involvement, the current influential factors should be preserved and enforced. Also, to ensure tailored conservation training programs, context-specific communication tools, promotion of cultural integration, and ensuring inclusivity in all JFM aspects. Future research should focus on assessing the impact of training programs on forest conservation
Berkes, F., Colding, J., & Folke, C. (Eds.). (2008). Navigating social-ecological systems: building resilience for complexity and change. Cambridge university press.
Beyene, A. D., Sandewall, M., & Sterner, T. (2018). The role of collective action in forest management: Evidence from Ethiopian highlands. Ecological Economics, 147, 312-321.
Biswas, S. K., & Rai, A. (2021). Joint forest management and community participation: A study in Indian perspective. Indian JL & Just., 12, 33.
Conceição, P. (2019). Human development report. 2019: beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century. New York, NY: United Nations Development Programme.
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.
Cumming, G. S., & Allen, C. R. (2017). Protected areas as social‐ecological systems: perspectives from resilience and social‐ecological systems theory. Ecological Applications, 27(6), 1709-1717. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1585
Day, J., Dudley, N., Hockings, M., Holmes, G., Laffoley, D. D. A., Stolton, S., & Wells, S. M. (2012). Guidelines for applying the IUCN protected area management categories to marine protected areas. IUCN.
de la Mora, G. D. L. M., Sánchez-Nupan, L. O., Castro-Torres, B., & Galicia, L. (2021). Sustainable Community Forest Management in Mexico: An Integrated Model of Three Socio-ecological Frameworks. Environmental Management, 68(6), 900-913.
Elias, M., Grosse, A., & Campbell, N. (2020). Unpacking ‘gender in joint forest management: Lessons from two Indian states. Geoforum, 111, 218-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.09.018
Evardone, C. J. A., Dignadice, E. P., & Parco, E. G. (2021). Assessment on event management service competencies of selected event managers in Taguig city. Asia Pacific International Events Management Journal, 2(1), 46-54.
Folke, C., Carpenter, S. R., Walker, B., Scheffer, M., Chapin, T., & Rockström, J. (2008). Resilience Thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability. Ecology and Society, 12(1), 26.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2020). State of the World’s Forests 2020. FAO, Rome.
Francis, H., Temu, G., & Hauli, E. (2015). Access to Joint Forest Management Resources: Challenges and Opportunities to Local Communities. A case of Udzungwa Forest Reserve. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research, 4(1), 17-24.
Ghate, R., Ghate, S., & Ostrom, E. (2013). Cultural norms, cooperation, and communication: Taking experiments to the field in indigenous communities. International Journal of the Commons, 7(2).
Holmes, G., & Brockington, D. (2012). Protected areas–What people say about wellbeing. Biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation: Exploring Evidence for a Link, 160-172.
Kidenya, E. A. (2015). Community participation in natural resources management: a case of natural forest management in Manyoni district (Doctoral dissertation, Mzumbe University).
Kiwango, Y. A., Munishi, P. K., Shemdoe, R. S., & Zahabu, E. (2019). Assessment of the performance of joint forest management in Tanzania: A case study of Makao Forest Reserve. Forest Policy and Economics, 104, 27-35.
Lokina, R. B. (2014). Forest reform in Tanzania: A review of policy and legislation. African Journal of Economic Review, 2(2), 125-149.
Luswaga, H., & Nuppenau, E. A. (2020). Participatory forest management in West Usambara Tanzania: what is the community perception on success? Sustainability, 12(3), 921. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030921
Mishra, B. K., Rath, S., & Mohapatra, B. K. (2012). Joint forest management in India: An assessment of its success. Journal of Environmental Management, 112, 292-301.
Mishra, R., Behera, B., and Singh, K. (2013). Traditional ecological knowledge of medicinal plants in community-based management of forests in Odisha, India. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 9(1), 50.
Mpokigwa, M. K. (2010). The role of communication, education and public awareness raising on community participation in forest management in Mufindi District, Tanzania (Doctoral dissertation, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)).
Ostrom, E. (2009). A general framework for analyzing sustainability of social-ecological systems. Science, 325(5939), 419-422.
Pandey, S. S., Bhatt, B. P., Chaudhary, R. P., and Rawat, B. S. (2018). Role of sacred groves in conservation of plant diversity and their potential for ecological restoration. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(3), 2173-2182.
Persha, L., & Meshack, C. (2016). A triple win. The impact of Tanzania’s joint forest management programme on livelihoods, governance and forests. International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). https://doi.org/10.23846/R87I0F
Phiri, M., Chirwa, P. W., Watts, S., & Syampungani, S. (2012). Local community perception of joint forest management and its implications for forest condition: the case of Dambwa Forest Reserve in southern Zambia. Journal of Forest Science, 74(1), 51-59.
Saha, A. R., Muangirwa, G. C., & Tiwary, N. K. (2019). A review of the role of institutions in participatory forest management in Tanzania. International Journal of Society Systems Science, 11(4), 298-311.
Taherdoost, H. (2016). Validity and reliability of the research instrument; how to test the validation of a questionnaire/survey in research. Electronic Physician, 8(3), 2515-2520. https://doi.org/10.19082/2515
Tarimo, W., & Ringo, J. (2016). Contribution of Joint Forest Management in Improving Conservation and Local Livelihood in Rufiji District, Tanzania. Sustainability in Environment, 1(2), 183-199.
Togolai, P. (2015). Factors influencing effectiveness of Joint Forest Management Approach in Conservation and Management of Forest Reserves: A Case of Kimboza Forest Reserve in Morogoro, Tanzania (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Dodoma).
United Nations. (2015). Sustainable Development Goals. https://sdgs.un.org/
United Republic of Tanzania. (2016). Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve Management Plan 2016-2021. Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. https://www.tfs.go.tz/images/documents/USNFRMP16-21.pdf
World Bank. (2018). Joint Forest Management: An Introduction. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/forests/brief/joint-forest-management
Zande, R., & Mzuza, M. K. (2022). An investigation of the factors influencing community participation in forest management: A case of Balaka District, Malawi. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 10(3), 84-95.
Copyright (c) 2023 Godfrey Elisha, Agnes Nzali, PhD, Frank Philipo, PhD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.