Including Pastoralism in Community Forests, Tanzania

Project summary

Pastoralist and Agropastoralist (PAP)-farmer conflicts in Tanzania appear to be increasing. These conflicts cause distress and loss of assets and lives, including deaths, disabilities, the killing of livestock in addition to the destruction of crops, loss of property and disturbance of peace in general. The main hypothesis of this project is that village land forest reserves (VLFRs), i.e. forests officially under village governments’ authority hold substantial quantities of fodder and water that can be used by livestock in biophysically sustainable ways that are mutually beneficial to PAP and farming communities and hence offer a pathway to readdress the conflicts. The project aims to uncover and understand the economic and conflict-reducing potentials associated with the inclusion of PAPs in the governance of VLFRs. The Livestock in the Forests (LIVEFOR) project is innovative because the de facto inclusion of PAPs in VLFRs has never been studied systematically in Tanzania. VLFRs offer a unique possibility to study the governance of livestock in forests because, in some VLFRs, they are formally accepted by village governments, which is not the case for any other type of reserved forests from which the authorities often violently evict livestock. Thus, we believe that a study of the processes and implications of current, de facto, inclusion of livestock in VLFRs can generate useful and evidence-based information to develop new imaginations of multi-purpose forest governance that could alleviate livestock-related conflicts more broadly in Tanzania and other countries in Africa as well as Asia.

Go back to all projects