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Community forestry frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact on sustainable development

Lalisa A. Duguma, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Joanes Atela, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), ICIPE, Duduvile Campus, Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya
Alemayehu N. Ayana, Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dieudonne Alemagi, FOKABS INC.
Mathew Mpanda, Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Moses Nyago, University of Florida, School of Forestry Resources and Conservation, Gainesville, Florida
Peter A. Minang, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Judith M. Nzyoka, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Divine Foundjem-Tita, World Agroforestry Centre, West and Central Africa Region, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Cécile Ngo Ntamag-Ndjebet, Cameroon Ecology (Cam-Eco), Edéa, Cameroon


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Community based forest management (CBFM) has been implemented in Africa since the 1980s. Three main objectives, which are currently part of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), underlie the formation of CBFM. They are (1) enhancing community engagement in forest management, (2) reducing rural poverty, and (3) promoting forest resources conservation. We examine CBFM frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and CBFM schemes’ contribution to selected sustainable development goals relevant to the forestry sector. Five SSA countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, and Tanzania were chosen for the study because of their long-term engagement in CBFM. The analysis was based on desk review of literature from Web of Science™, Scopus, and Google Scholar™, and interviews with individuals representing institutions leading CBFM implementation in the countries selected. We found countries were strong in devising policy and legal provisions and articulating formalities for establishing CBFM. Major weaknesses were observed in monitoring CBFM performance, benefit sharing, and product management. The analysis of CBFM schemes’ contribution to SDGs was largely positive, though with several cases of no considerable impact and few reports of negative impacts. The contributions of CBFM schemes to SDGs was constrained by weaknesses in the CBFM frameworks. Enhancing CBFM schemes contribution to SDGs requires addressing the major weaknesses observed in the CBFM frameworks.

Key words

Africa; community based forest management; forestry; implementation; sustainable development goals

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087