Contribution of Joint Forest Management in Improving Conservation and Local Livelihood in Rufiji District, Tanzania

Wilhard Tarimo, Japhet Ringo


This paper attempts to explore the contribution of Joint Forest Management in improving conservation and local livelihood in Rufiji District. The study was carried in three villages (Mkupuka, Mangwi and Muyuyu). Household survey, key informants interviews, focus group discussions, and archive information were used to collect data. A total of 90 households, 10 key informants, and 9 Focus Group Discussion members were involved. Results indicate that 57% of the respondents had the view that local communities around Ngumburuni Forest Reserve did not realize direct benefits from JFM practices. Findings have also revealed that 82.2% of the respondents perceived the increased trend of deforestation after the introduction of JFM, a feature that does not promise sustainability of the forest reserve. Findings indicate that challenges hindered effective management of forest reserve include the increase of human population, expanding agriculture, and insufficient fund. The study concludes that, JFM has failed to show substantial contributions towards enhancing conservation and livelihood of local communities in the study area. It is recommended that for sustainable management of the forest resources there is a need to strengthen the JFM in improving conservation and enhancing local livelihood through conservation awareness, involvement of the local community in implementation of the JFM strategies, to ensure equal distribution of benefits realized from forest conservation, and strengthening patrol of the forest resources.

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