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An assessment of the sustainability of community based forests (CBFs) in Mbarali district was carried out in three villages of Mapogolo, Chimala and Itamboleo wards.
Data were collected using questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews, physical observation and documentary review.
Forty respondents were involved in the study.
Results indicate that CBFs in the study area are unsustainably managed due to inadequate community’s participation in project implementation; lack of effective community’s capacity building and lack of sustainable funding.
Village Natural Resource Committees in all the three villages were head loaded with both theirs and community’s responsibilities.
Villages lacked sustainable forest management strategies, investment in both social and economic community’s capacity building, network between stakeholders; benefit sharing mechanisms and extension of material and financial support to local levels.
As a result forest degradation and deforestation increased.
Suggestions put forward include trainings of village natural resource committees; holding more public meetings on community based forests and to assist communities to prepare Forest management plans.
Anton cassian Nzali, MSc(NRM); studied diploma in education at Mpwapwa T.C and Diploma in education management and administration at ADEM-Bagamoyo.He is an environmentalist holding BA.Ed (Geogr).He is proffesionally a teacher at Songea district council and also works as an independent researcher and research consultant at Songea and Mbeya city.
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