The political economy of private forestry in Tanzania: a review.

Published online
08 Aug 2018
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Pedersen, R. H.
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Africa South of Sahara & Tanzania


Tanzania faces an acute shortage of timber that can only be met by private tree growers, at least in the short to medium term. The Tanzanian government in various policy document acknowledges this. However, little has happened in terms of implementation. This paper aims to explain why. Based on a review of the existing literature it argues that a combination of path-dependency and vested interests among Tanzanian state authorities and actors has rendered more fundamental changes difficult. The control over forests has been a major priority for many years, though disguised in the form of state-led management and conservation paradigms. This means that the growth of private actors, not least the non-industrial private forests (NIPF), a main focus of the paper, seems to have happened more despite state forest policies and institutions than because of them. An update of legal and institutional frameworks governing forestry is therefore needed.

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