Thursday, September 1, 2011


VNRC is the group of people who has been selected by the village members of the community to be responsible in managing of natural resources available in the village on behalf of the entire village.

The Forest Act of 2002 reinforces the role of the Village Councils through the formation of Village Forest Committees (which are generally now known as either Village Environmental Committees (VECs), or VNRCs. These elected bodies are defined as accountable committees for the overall management of village NRs on behalf of Village Assembly.

The importance of village government institutions for managing natural resources is enhanced through their legal responsibility for management of village lands according to the Land Act No. 4 of 1999 and Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999 (URT 1999). Village Committee manage land on behalf of the Village Assembly, and this includes demarcating land that is to be allocated to individuals and land which will remain under communal use and management for purposes such as forest management and conservation.

The Village Natural Resources Committee carries the following responsibilities:
•To coordinate and schedule all forest-related activities including; tree planting, gathering of Forest resources, and record keeping.
•To issue permits for harvesting of forest resources.
•To prevent any kind of agriculture in the forest.
•To prevent uncontrolled fires in the forest.
•To prevent animal husbandry in the forest.
•To patrol the forest to prevent illegal harvesting and any other form of forest degradation.
•Boundary clearance
•To keep the whole village informed of events in the village land forest reserve (VLFR) and surrounding area.
•To keep the whole village informed of events in the village land forest reserve (VLFR) and surrounding area.
•To raise awareness amongst villagers about their rights and responsibilities and of any changes on forest management guidelines.

To perform all these duties there should be good coordination with community and village government, unfortunately in West Usambara this is not happening. Therefore forests are still degrading at the high rate while there is VNRC and by laws to reduce forest degradation.

As YETs and other environmentalist what do you think can be done to make VNRC work effectively?
Written by;
Jonathan Sawaya-YET2011

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