The fate of the forest is usually connected with forest management systems, societal demands as well as exposure to major disturbances such as wildfires, heavy browsing animals. Since the early 1990s, Tanzania have adopted participatory forest management (PFM) approaches, namely Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) and Joint forest management (JFM) to effectively and adequately protect the forests. In Manyara region where this study is based, Duru-Haitemba and Suledo forest reserves are managed under CBFM, while Ufiome forest reserve is managed under JFM. This study analyses forest management systems and their implication on Duru-Haitemba and Ufiome forest Reserves. The research methods used in this study included household surveys, focus group discussion, key informant interviews and field observation. Finding from the study showed that both JFM and CBFM approaches have been effectively implemented in the two forest reserves. It was also found that some of the traditional ceremonies undertaken in the forest also support the forest management efforts, since areas where such activities take place are considered sacred and are always left intact. Therefore, collective results from forest management approaches and cultural activities have greatly minimised illegal forest based activities such as timber harvesting and forest fires and the once heavily degraded forests have significantly recovered. Such success has been attributed to increased sense of ownership and control over the forest resources as the community feel more responsible for protection of the forest after realising the benefits brought by their efforts. Those benefits include enhanced availability of water and local herbs, easy collection of firewood, protection of their homes and farms from strong wind and more reliable rains that give them a stable economy from agriculture. Although, the forest status has improved significantly, there are still challenges in managing more remote parts of the forest where misconducts are hard to be spotted. Among the reasons that have contributed to the far distance misconduct, are poor accessibility, inadequate financial resources, necessary working gears and protection of social relations. Therefore, there is a need to further ensure enforcement of the regulations, sensitization of the local community participation in forest management related activities, as well as unswerving support to forest patrols.
Key words: Community based forest management, forest degradation, deforestation, community participation, livelihoods, Babati, Tanzania.
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