...exploring how people shape the world's forests

Seventeen Emerging Local Economic and Social Dynamics Shaping East African Forest Landscapes


The forests and people of three East African countries – Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda – are diverse but share many economic, geographic, ecological, political, and socio-cultural characteristics. Although the impacts of climate change on forest landscapes in the region are still limited, major threats that need to be overcome include the heavy dependency of local communities on forest resources for income and fuelwood, and the conversion of forest land to agriculture in response to pressure from a rapidly increasing population. The underlying drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the region are complex, and some lie outside the forestry sector. The key drivers of deforestation include failure to implement policies and legislation governing the use of forest resources, and the inability to monitor and enforce forest rules due to the prevalence of corruption, political interference, and political failure. The regional governments have put in place several initiatives to help resolve many of the above challenges. These include decentralisation, increasing recognition of the role of communities in the management of forests, increasing roles of the private sector and local communities in forest plantation development, and recognition of Clean Development Mechanism and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation mechanisms to reduce deforestation and increase afforestation efforts.

Abwoli, B., M.Buyinza, E. Luoga, and P. Ongugo, 2009. Forests and Society- Responding to Global Drivers of Change. 315-333

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