This paper presents findings of a study on the effectiveness of forest resource governance on the performance of the REDD+ project in the Masito-Ugalla ecosystem in Uvinza district, western Tanzania through transparency, accountability, participation and integrity. The study was conducted in Ilagala, Karago and Kirando villages with the objective of understanding the effects of forest resources governance on REDD+ project performance as well as examining the best ways of integrating forest resource governance with REDD+ projects. The methods used in the study included household interviews that used a structured questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather qualitative data from key informants. The findings revealed that despite the efforts undertaken by REDD+ initiative in Masito-Ugalla ecosystem, its performance was generally average. Such performance was due to the support rendered by JUWAMMA, the inter-village community based organization, to the REDD+ project activities in the area. Poor forest resources governance had, however, continued to hamper its performance. Minimal duration of operation of the REDD+ Project and dominance of politics in conservation matters were the major reasons for its poor performance. Embezzlement of funds by politicians and senior government officials also contributed to the bad performance of the project. Villagers were also seldom engaged in decision-making. Implementing accountability by setting standards would have improved forest resources governance in the study area. The study concludes that more transparent budgeting and public procurement is inevitable for achieving good REDD+ performance. REDD+ activities also need to be addressed openly, with legal measures being taken by responsible authorities against corruption'.
Key words: Forest resources governance, REDD+ in Tanzania, REDD+ projects performance, Masito-Ugalla ecosystem.
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