11: How We Could Foster Locally Responsive and Collaborative Natural Resources Governance?

In the extensive literature, scholars have demonstrated that in multi-actor governance, collaborative natural resources governance expands the public domain between local communities and various power holders. Given this, the challenge for collaborative natural resources governance is the complex social-ecological systems of local residents, civil society, companies, administrative bodies and foreign-funded interventions prone to generate conflict among actors. Responsive decision-making that promotes collaboration between local people and other actors, however, can support conflict mitigation. Scholars and practitioners increasingly debate inclusion of a broader range of knowledge in natural resource management, and particularly the inclusion of indigenous knowledge. They also caution on the application of western-based knowledge management models in a developing world context. In this panel we would like to generate meaningful discussion on the forms and practices of collaboration that are produced when external actors and local residents/communities collaborate.  The panel will explore the following key questions: What are socially (locally) acceptable rights and responsibilities in collaborative decision-making? Do these rights and responsibilities generate the need for collaborative practices of conflict resolution? What type of collaborative conflict resolution methods could be developed as part of collaborative natural resources governance? The panel would like to invite research papers and practice-oriented experience that explore collaborative governance and conflict resolution in development contexts. Abstracts (max. 300 words) should be emailed to the coordinator.

Chaired by Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and Edda Tandi Lwoga (College of Business Education in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Panel coordinator: Antti Erkkilä (University of Eastern Finland), antti.erkkila@uef.fi

Session 1, Room 505
Session 2, Room 505

Irmeli Mustalahti (University of Eastern Finland), Edda Tandi Lwoga (College of Business Education, Tanzania), Ida Herdieckerhoff (University of Eastern Finland), Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Dismas L. Mwaseba (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania), Antti Erkkilä (University of Eastern Finland), Estevao Eduardo Chambule (University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique), Pekka Virtanen (University of Jyväskylä), Almeida Sitoe (University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique), Violeta Gutiérrez Zamora (University of Eastern Finland), Mara Hernández Estrada (Mexican Center of Research and Higher Education, CIDE), Rijal Ramdani (University of Eastern Finland), Ubaldus J. Tumaini (College of Business Education, Tanzania), Aristarik H. Maro (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Suzana Samson Nyanda (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania)

Scoping Review: How we could foster locally responsive collaborative natural resources governance?

In extensive literature, scholars have demonstrated that collaborative natural resources governance expands the public domain between local communities and various power holders in multi-actor governance. The challenge for collaborative natural resources governance has been and will be the complex social-ecological systems of local residents, civil society and companies as well as administrative bodies and the foreign funded interventions. However, the responsive decision-making that promotes collaboration between local people and various actors could foster conflict mitigation than structures in which, for example, external actors/power holders/investors make decisions without consulting and collaboration with local people. The key question in this paper is what type of collaborative practices and conflict resolution methods has been created? With the scoping review method, we aim to understand how we could foster locally responsive and collaborative natural resources governance. We will conduct literature searches on electronic databases, including CAB abstracts, Scopus, Web of Science and other relevant databases. We will identify additional articles through grey literature searches, Google scholar, expert consultations, and reference list searches of relevant studies. We will screen titles and abstracts and finally assess and carry out analysis of the selected full texts for eligibility.

  • Oral presentation by Irmeli Mustalahti (University of Eastern Finland), Corresponding author from MAKUTANO project at the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, (University of Eastern Finland)

Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Mónica Piceno Hernández (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and Bárbara Ayala Orozco (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Devolving rights but maintaining a tight leash on responsibilities: Can community forest management in Mexico be fully autonomous? 

Mexico’s forestry sector is often lauded as a highly successful model for devolving rights over forests to local communities, supporting community forest enterprises and in this way, meeting both socioeconomic and conservation objectives, including REDD+ goals. Full devolvement of rights and responsibilities is questionable, however. Through a system of permits, subsidies and incentives, the State influences most aspects of the forestry sector in Mexico, from organizational structures to actual practices undertaken in forests. Hence, although promoted as “community” forest management it often resembles a system of unequal power within a “collaborative” forest management structure in which local communities implement the State’s vision of sustainable forestry sometimes at the expense of their own. For local and indigenous communities seeking full autonomy and rights to self-determination including re-establishing traditional forest management, the status quo impedes full autonomy and can become a source of internal and external conflict because there little to no room for local communities to articulate their own visions of sustainable forest management or demonstrate how their traditional knowledge and management systems may generate forest and human wellbeing outcomes that match multiple actors’ visions of successful forest management. Using the case study of Cheran, an indigenous community in Central Mexico that claimed its rights to self-governance and stopped organized crime and extraction in their forests, we analyse whether the new local government is able to maintain its autonomy on forest governance or whether it must “devolve” some power on decision making back to the State in order to function successfully. In particular, we explore how the current indigenous government perceives and manages internal and external interests in forests (especially when they are contradictory) in order to propose processes that the State could undertake in order to enable more equal collaboration with local forest owners.

  • Oral presentation by Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Corresponding author, the paper together with her PhD student Monica Piceno and co-advisor, Barbara Ayala Orozco

Antti Erkkilä (University of Eastern Finland), Ubaldus J. Tumaini (College of Business Education, Tanzania), Aristarik H. Maro (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Suzana Samson Nyanda (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania) and Irmeli Mustalahti (University of Eastern Finland)

Narratives of conflict in private plantation forestry in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Within the research project entitled MAKUTANO, meaning ‘gathering’ in Swahili, we are studying environmental collaboration skills and conflict resolution methods in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. We are using an Action Learning Approach to co-produce new knowledge together with urban and village-based tree growers and other actors. We are interested in what kind of conflicts or misunderstandings might be present, especially in relation to the ongoing tree-growing boom among smallholder farmers and domestic small and medium scale investors. A total of 29 recorded interviews, using the ‘listen in’ method, were conducted in 10-29 October 2019. Interviewees included authorities at regional, district, ward and village level, timber traders, service providers and their village-based coordinators, smallholder farmers and translocal investors as well as representatives of academia, tree growers’ associations and other NGOs. The narratives reveal disputes about land acquisition, fire outbreak, overlapping or unfocused administrative responsibilities, lack of transparency among actors, delayed payments and poor coordination, unregulated timber quality and price as well as confusion about revenue collection criteria by the government. According to our preliminary findings, the intensity of the conflicting issues seems to be low and local. We could not determine whether the conflicting issues in the narratives are tending towards escalation or de-escalation. However, most of the interviewees mentioned that there would be a need for a forum where different actors in private plantation forestry and government could share their views. April 2020, there will be a 2-day workshop, supported by our research project, at which the above-mentioned actors will have a possibility to exchange views on small scale private plantation forestry, and to learn new skills to foster collaborative efforts.

  • Oral presentation by Antti Erkkilä, Corresponding author from the MAKUTANO project at the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, (University of Eastern Finland)

Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi (Institute for Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) and Eckhard Auch (Institute for Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)

Responsibilization at a crossroads: Designing pathways for indigenous forest communities in Cameroon


Estêvão E. E. Chambule (Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique), Ida Herdieckerhoff (University of Eastern Finland) and Irmeli Mustalahti (University of Eastern Finland)

Forest resource conflicts and collaborative governance: learnings from Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the few southern African countries that still has an area of native forests and other woody formations, composed mainly of Miombo, Mecrusse and Mopane. These dry tropical forests are subject to a high rate of deforestation and forest degradation due to their fragility and the high demand for goods and services as these native forests are the main source of livelihoods for the poor population. There are two models to access forest resources in Mozambique under the law, single license and forestry concession for very large areas for 50 years. The government of Mozambique abolished the simple licensing model, with only forest concessions in force. Legislation provides free access to resources by communities even in concession areas, but it has been found that this does not exists on the ground as communities are prevented by concessionaires from cutting wood within the concession area. This has generated conflicts over forest resources, ranging from illegal logging, bushfires due to hunting and opening farms – agriculture land for members of local communities. This study was conducted within communities in Zambézia Province, and attempts to explore the causes of conflicts over forest resources between communities and concession holders as well as to understand how the conflicts could be mitigated via collaborative approaches. The research questions were, what type of conflicts exists in case of concession forestry? And why do these conflicts occur? How these conflicts are mitigated or managed in a community level? How collaborative approaches could foster conflict mitigation and resolution? To answer this question, interviews were conducted with key informants, forest sector government officials, NGOs, and community members. Observations and transect walks were also used in this study. The conflicts identified in this study are related to royalty payments, illegal exploitation and fires caused by farming activities and hunting. These conflicts arise due to lack of community participation from the process of establishing of the concession to its operation, lack of transparency in the allocation and benefit sharing, inadequate or poor information sharing, limited institutional capacity and lack of accountability. Due to the interdependence of the actors involved in this conflict’s collaboration learning shows itself as a key tool for resolving conflicts and promoting community participation in forest resource management.

  • Oral presentation by Estêvão E. E. Chambule, Correspondent author from Responsive Natural Resources Governance Research Group under HEI-ICI Program from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Jadwiga Massinga (University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Reconciling forest protection with community livelihoods: case of Moribane Forest Reserve

Conservation of tropical forests while ensuring local communities livelihoods is challenging and adoption of community approach for protected areas can be viable strategy. It is critical understanding local drivers of forest cover changes to improve development and environmental policies. Deforestation and forest degradation in Mozambique critically affects conservation as shifting agriculture is pointed out one of causes. The study provides preliminary assessment of the adaptation and environmental awareness of local communities in Moribane Forest Reserve, Manica Province, to conservation programs and is part of broader research related to forest transition theory. Data collection was conducted in September 2019 using semi-structured households questionnaires at 149 households randomly selected from 479 families living within reserve boundaries. The survey investigated the principal livelihood activities, availability and accessibility of key NTFP. 83.4 % of families have agriculture as main income source with sesame and banana as principal cash crops and maize as staple food. Honey is collected for household use and selling while other NTFP are strictly for consumption. Although 85.9% of respondents do not experience any restrictions in access to forest, households prefer fallows as main source of firewood (53.0%), honey (49.7%) and medicine plants (49.0%). Respondents assessed availability of firewood as unchanged or better compared to 10 years ago, however, they stressed reduction in access to poles (38.3%) and wood (36.2%). Livestock graze in fallow and agriculture land. Respondents consider forest as important source of providing, regulating and supporting ES and recognize need to protect through surveillance, control of bushfires, restrictions in use of reserve core area and reforestation. Communities collaborate with local NGO and Natural Resource Management Committee through participation in conservation programs defined to improve and diverse income sources (beekeeping, community tourism center). The results can aid conservation authorities in definition of ES payments and development of local management plans.

  • Oral presentation by Jadwiga Massinga