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Mixed method approaches to evaluate conservation impact: evidence from decentralized forest management in Tanzania

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2014

JENS FRIIS LUND*
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
NEIL D. BURGESS
Affiliation:
UNEP-WCMC, 219 Huntington Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK
SHABANI A. O. CHAMSHAMA
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
KLAUS DONS
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
JACK A. ISANGO
Affiliation:
Tanzania Forest Research Institute, Tanzania
GEORGE C. KAJEMBE
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
HENRIK MEILBY
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
FRANCIS MOYO
Affiliation:
Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Tanzania
YONIKA M. NGAGA
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
STEPHEN E. NGOWI
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
MARCO A. NJANA
Affiliation:
Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
EZEKIEL E. MWAKALUKWA
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
KATHRINE SKEIE
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
IDA THEILADE
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
THORSTEN TREUE
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
*
*Correspondence. Dr Jens Lund Tel: +45 3533 1767 Fax: +45 3533 1508 e-mail: jens@ifro.ku.dk

Summary

Nearly 10% of the world's total forest area is formally owned by communities and indigenous groups, yet knowledge of the effects of decentralized forest management approaches on conservation (and livelihood) impacts remains elusive. In this paper, the conservation impact of decentralized forest management on two forests in Tanzania was evaluated using a mixed method approach. Current forest condition, forest increment and forest use patterns were assessed through forest inventories, and changes in forest disturbance levels before and after the implementation of decentralized forest management were assessed on the basis of analyses of Landsat images. This biophysical evidence was then linked to changes in actual management practices, assessed through records, interviews and participatory observations, to provide a measure of the conservation impact of the policy change. Both forests in the study were found to be in good condition, and extraction was lower than overall forest increment. Divergent changes in forest disturbance levels were in evidence following the implementation of decentralized forest management. The evidence from records, interviews and participatory observations indicated that decentralized management had led to increased control of forest use and the observed divergence in forest disturbance levels appeared to be linked to differences in the way that village-level forest managers prioritized conservation objectives and forest-based livelihood strategies. The study illustrates that a mixed methods approach comprises a valid and promising way to evaluate impacts of conservation policies, even in the absence of control sites. By carefully linking policy outcomes to policy outputs, such an approach not only identifies whether such policies work as intended, but also potential mechanisms.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2014 

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Footnotes

Supplementary material can be found online at www.journals.cambridge.org/ENC

References

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