The Impact of Community Based Forest management on Communities' Livelihoods. A Comparative Case Study between CBFM and Non CBFM Villages in Kilwa District, Tanzania.
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- Institutt for geografi 
In 1990's the government of Tanzania introduced Community Forest management (CBFM) as a solution towards sustainable forest management with the main objectives of improving forest condition and the livelihoods of the forest dependent communities. However in many cases the most emphasis has been on the improvement of the forest condition and less focus on the livelihood impact of CBFM to local communities. Livelihood aspect of forest management remains poorly defined and little awareness has been created so far. This study was carried out in Kilwa district from June-August 2011 under the umbrella of the CCIAM (Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation Measures) project entitled "Comparative Study of Incentive Options for Forest Based Emissions Reduction, Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Improvement; Case of Kilwa and Lindi Districts." The main aim of this study was to cover the knowledge gap that exists by examining the livelihood impact of CBFM on the forest fringe communities. The study was done by comparing CBFM and non CBFM villages. The Sustainable livelihood and stakeholders' analysis were used as a guide to understand the phenomenon. This study used qualitative approach in collection and analysis of both primary and secondary data. The results of the study show that CBFM potentially can contribute to improve rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation. Although it was less than 10 years since CBFM project was initiated in the studied villages, members had already started to receive a number of benefits such as improved environmental services, forest products for sale and for subsistence, secured forest ownership, improved village infrastructure and social services. However, most of the benefits seemed to be accrued at the community level from commercial timber harvesting, users' fees, and revenues from forest related products. At the household level the issue of gender, economic status and age were indicated to affect the way the benefits were distributed. The needs and interests of the poorest, women, elderly and youth groups were still continued to be neglected even under the introduction of CBFM project. The study also indicates other challenges in the implementation of CBFM include lack of financial resources; lack of enough support from the district council in the establishment of the VLFRs and a delay in signing and approving the forest management plans; and also human wildlife conflict as a result of improved forest condition. Despite the challenges the study indicates that most of the village members were positive with CBFM project. Village members had more expectations to benefits with their forest in the future through sustainable forest management compared to non CBFM villages.