Mid-term Review: Community Natural Resource Forums Ngorongoro and Simanjiro Districts, Tanzania

Publication Type:




Tanzania Natural Resource Forum and Ujamaa Community Resource Trust, Tanzania Natural Resource Forum and Ujamaa Community Resource Trust, Arusha (2008)


Community Forum, Conflict resolution, Customary Institutions, Governance, Natural Resources


<p>The 'Community Forums' is a joint initiative between Tanzania Natural Resources
Forum (TNRF) and Ujamaa Community Resource Trust (UCRT). TNRF, a collective civil
society-based initiative to improve natural resource management in Tanzania by
addressing fundamental issues of natural resource governance, was founded in
2004 with the aim of improving natural resources management in Tanzania by addressing
fundamental issues of natural resource governance. The Community Forums have
been developed in northern Tanzania to enable better information exchange among
rural communities and bridge the gap between their local experiences in natural
resource management and the development of appropriate national policy and law. </p>
<p> In order to achieve better and devolved natural resource governance and management,
TNRF works with its partner organisation UCRT and Ilaiguenak &#8211; a customary
institution of the Maasai &#8211; to implement the Community Forums that form
the basic platform to address land and natural resource management issues. TNRF
started implementing its Community Forums project in May 2007. In the first year
of the project, Community Forums have been launched in Simanjiro, Loliondo, Longido
and Hanang Districts in northern Tanzania. The stage of development of these
Community Forums varies from district to district &#8211; depending on the
status and strength of the local customary institutions. The past 10 months
have been
a pilot phase in the implementation of Community Forums, during which period
a number of success have been realised and lessons learnt.</p>
<p> Community Forums have proved cost-effective because of their ability to mobilise
local resources from the community and carry on with their mandate with limited
external support. Mobilisation of local resources evidences the sustainability
of the forums. Further, conflict resolution by the forums has proved to be
quick saving on both time and resources. </p>
<p> Overall, Community Forums have made it easy for many organisations, both
NGOs and CBOs that have been involved in natural resource management and
land issues
in the two districts sampled in this evaluation. These organisations are
now supportive of the forums. Community members and most civil society
organisations view the Community Forums as a sure step to achieve genuine
the community. Politicians in local authorities and village governments
appreciate the activities so far carried out by the forums. </p>
<p>Among the key achievements of the Community Forums since inception are:<br>
Resolving of longstanding conflicts in community<br>
Forums are operate with a heavy reliance on local community resources demonstrating
impressive sustainability in the long term<br>
The forums&#8217; members are highly motivated<br>
There is better exchange of information among forum members within and between
Members now know each other<br>
Formation of a regional forum bringing together the district Community Forums</p>
<p>There have been, however, challenges faced by the forums. These include:<br>
Lack of representative participation<br>
Limited capacity of forum members<br>
Negative effects of drought on forums&#8217; meetings </p>

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