Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → Forest governance, conservation and livelihoods : the case of forest protected areas and local communities in north-western Zimbabwe

Rhodes University (2016)

Forest governance, conservation and livelihoods : the case of forest protected areas and local communities in north-western Zimbabwe

Mutekwa, Vurayai

Titre : Forest governance, conservation and livelihoods : the case of forest protected areas and local communities in north-western Zimbabwe

Auteur : Mutekwa, Vurayai

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2016

Résumé partiel
Forest protected areas (FPAs) constitute one of the main strategies for achieving the triple benefits of biodiversity conservation, livelihoods sustenance and climate regulation. The quality of FPA governance plays a major role in the achievement of these conservation objectives. Governance encompasses policies, institutions, actors, processes and power and how they interplay to determine conservation outcomes. Currently, no research has systematically explored the historical and contemporary governance of Zimbabwe’s protected indigenous forests and its implications on forest condition and local communities’ livelihoods. This is despite the fact that improving forest governance depends on learning from those that prevailed in the past as well as those currently obtaining on the ground in terms of how they have performed in relation to conservation and livelihood sustenance. This study assessed Zimbabwe’s historical and contemporary FPA governance and its implications on social and ecological outcomes. The overall rationale of the study was to provide evidence of the impact of past governance arrangements on forest condition and local communities’ livelihoods, improve understanding of the current governance arrangements and propose future FPA governance strategies and mechanisms to enhance conservation and local communities’ livelihood outcomes. Accordingly, the specific objectives of the study were to : 1) characterize and collate historical governance of FPAs in western Zimbabwe, 2) evaluate the impact of governance on forest condition and local communities’ livelihoods, 3) explore the nature of contemporary governance at the forest level, and 4) propose the governance model for Zimbabwe’s FPAs into the future. The study employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods including the systematic literature review methodology. Using specific case studies of indigenous FPAs in western Zimbabwe as examples, the study initially evaluated through literature review (Chapter 2) the history of forest governance in Zimbabwe showing how four main powers (force, regulation, market and legitimation) led to different types of local community exclusion and how community agency countered exclusion especially from the year 2000 to date. Chapter 3 uses six case study forests to assess the quality of historical FPA governance by analyzing the application of seven governance principles. The results showed that the quality of governance was high during precolonial times, deteriorated with the inception of colonialism and remained poor after independence in 1980. Forest condition also varied in tandem with the quality of governance variations showing a positive relationship between the two variables. Participation in decision making, fairness in sharing benefits and effective rule enforcement emerged as key principles for FPA authorities to earn local community support and improve forest condition. Chapter 4 employed remote sensing techniques to determine the impact of governance on FPA land cover change by comparing FPAs with in situ and ex situ inhabitants. Results revealed that there was a significant relationship between governance quality and land cover change. FPAs with in situ inhabitants experienced higher forest loss than those with ex situ inhabitants. Poor governance accelerated forest conversion to other land uses particularly agriculture and settlement.

Présentation (SEALS)

Version intégrale (3 Mb)

Page publiée le 27 novembre 2018