Community Based Forest Management takes place on village land or private land, and the trees are owned and managed by either a village council [through a village natural resources committee] a group or an individual. All the costs and benefits relating to management and utilization are carried by the owner. The role of the central government is minimal and the district has a role only in monitoring. The vivid examples of community based forest management are found in Babati district particularly to those different villages like Hala, Ayasanda as well as Haraa. In both Ayasanda and Haraa forests are owned and managed by village council but at Hala village we found that the forest owned and managed by an individual known as Joachim Hamo.
Community based forest management is a working tool for biodiversity conservation because, it transform unsustainable methods and approaches with poor performances for existing natural forests in the villages to more sustainable. It engages community from day to day forest management activities such as community patrolling, planting trees to the gap areas, and fire fighting in collaboration with other villagers. With assistance from local supporting organizations, they use forest management guidelines and by- laws formulated and approved by the respective district council for use of each village All these guidelines and by-laws have the same goal of advocating sustainable forest resource use and management.
Community based forest management not only halts deforestation and forest degradation but also reduce the emission of carbon and conserving biodiversity. It is also protecting watershed and conserving soil and water.
So the recommendations that I would to suggest are; the government should allow the community to manage and takes control to those forests nearby village in order to sustain the forest resources. Community based forest management enable the community to get a bundle of forests services and sell them together which would result in adding more values to the community as well as provide more benefits and tangible incentives to the local communities. Also the government should make sure that community based forest takes place all over the areas particularly in rural areas and should reward those community forest which are well off managed for the purpose of creating competition to other areas.
Community based forest management is a working tool for biodiversity if the community members participating on frequently meeting and seminars and gets education about all regulations and by-laws. So, for the community to own forests it makes sense because it transforms unsustainable methods and approaches with poor performances for existing natural forests in the village to more sustainable. This should be supported with the old famous saying that,” If we are building this house together let’s not argue over poles”
Lina James – YET 2011