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Forest management and conservation before and after the introduction of village participatory land use plans in the Kilosa district REDD+ initiative, Tanzania

Uisso, Amani J., Chirwa, Paxie W., Ackerman, Pierre A., Mbwambo, Lawrence
Journal of sustainable forestry 2019 v.38 no.2 pp. 97-115
deforestation, emissions, focus groups, forest management, forest reserves, forests, interviews, land use planning, models, villages, Tanzania
The use of Village Participatory Land Use Plan (VPLUP) model as a natural resource management and conservation tool has been growing recently. This study examined the premise under which VPLUPs implementation can enhance the management and conservation of Village Land Forest Reserves (VLFRs) in the context of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation plus (REDD+) initiative in the Kilosa district of Tanzania. A mixed method research design, which integrates participatory community mapping (PCM), focus group discussions (FGDs), key informants interviews (KIIs), direct observations, and household interviews were used in data collection. The results showed that there were significant (p < 0.05) improvements in forest management and conservation indicators after VPLUPs implementation, and increase in the management and conservation activities carried out by the community after the implementation of VPLUPs. There was also a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in almost all uses of the forest after the implementation of VPLUPs. The findings provide evidence that the VPLUP model has potential for enhancing the management and conservation of forests in the context of REDD+ strategy. Thus, it is argued that VPLUP can be used as a forest management and conservation tool to facilitate the implementation of the REDD+ initiatives.