Understanding the influence of community-based forest management on wellbeing and ecosystem services in Tanzania

Participatory forest management (PFM) schemes were designed to put communities at the centre of managing local natural resources.  The approach was driven by belief that without the support of local people, conservation efforts may fail and through their involvement more socially and environmentally sustainable outcomes could be achieved. In Tanzania participatory forest management schemes have been running for 10 years providing an excellent opportunity to study their social and environmental impact.
 
This research project examined how a community-orientated conservation initiative influences people’s wellbeing and how ecosystem services contribute to that wellbeing. It examined what constitutes wellbeing and the impact of new ecosystem management protocols on both wellbeing and ecosystem services. The project was in partnership with the ESPA PIMA project (Poverty and ecosystem impacts of payment for wildlife conservation initiatives in Africa: Tanzania’s wildlife management areas).
 
A key finding of the project was that while community based forest management does not appear to have an impact at the household level, communities describe a rich narrative of their collective contribution. Namely, greater control of their forest, regular access to forest products, and pride in recognition for their conservation efforts (by other villages and the state).
 
 

About Dr Nicole Gross-Camp

Nicole is an environmental scientist based at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia with 15 years of experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has a MSc in conservation biology and PhD in environmental studies from Antioch New England University. Her project, hosted by University College London, sought to inform the development of future conservation efforts in Tanzania that provide for both people and the environment.

Fellow: Dr Nicole Gross-Camp
Host Institution: University College London
Start Date: 01/06/14
End Date: 31/01/17
Grant Ref No: FELL-2014-101
ESPA Fellow
Organisation: University College London
Country: United Kingdom
Lead Mentor
Organisation: University College London
Country: United Kingdom
Mentor
Organisation: Lukuru Foundation
Country: Congo, Dem. Rep
Mentor
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Country: United Kingdom