Journal of Basic and Applied Research International
 

Journal of Basic and Applied Research International, ISSN No. : 2395-3438 (Print), 2395-3446 (Online), Vol.: 23, Issue.: 4

Original Research Article

EFFECTIVENESS OF LOCAL INSTITUTIONS IN FOREST MANAGEMENT AFTER WITHDRAW OF EXTERNAL FUNDING: LESSONS FROM DEDZA, MALAWI

 

DALO NJERA1, CHARLES MASANGANO2, STEVE MAKUNGWA2, DENNIS KAYAMBAZINTHU3 AND EDWARD MISSANJO4*

1Department of Forestry, Mzuzu University, Private Bag 201, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi.

2Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.

3Forestry Department Headquarters, P.O. Box 30048, Lilongwe 3, Malawi.

4Department of Forestry, Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi.

Abstracts

A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine the impact of Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRMC) as one strategy for promoting sustainable management of forest resources in Kanyama Extension Planning Area, in Dedza, Malawi. A total of 146 randomly selected households were sampled from the two villages (Tembwe and Mpango). Data were collected using a standard structured questionnaire administered through face-to-face interviews. Field measurements were conducted in existing village forest area (VFA) to determine forest cover change. The results revealed that there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in community participation in forest management between project period and after the project. The level of involvement in making by-laws increased from 58% during the project period to 75% after the project. All the respondents (100%) indicated that conflict resolution, setting rules for use, monitoring and policing, nursery management and silviculture are the main roles undertaken by the VNRMC in managing forest resources. It was also revealed that the effectiveness of the VNRMC was governed by the existence of institutional design principles like forest planning procedures, equitable benefit sharing and institutional incentives. There was a significant (P< 0.05) increase in forest cover between project period and after the project. Higher tree species diversity was observed in the VFA during and after the project than before the project. Therefore, the study conclude that VNRMCs can still be sustainable and effective even after withdraw of project funding and play a significant role in improving forest management. However, a similar study with a larger sample should be conducted in other areas of the country where there had been participatory forestry to compare results of different local forest governance.

Keywords :

Forest management; community participation; forest cover; tree species diversity.