Jamii ya Msitu wa Suledo (Suledo Forest Community)
In 1993, the Government of Tanzania designated the Suledo Forest as a Central Government Forest Reserve, in an attempt to stem the overexploitation of forest resources in this 167,400-ha stretch of miombo woodland. This move, made without prior local consultation, resulted in the disenfranchisement of nine neighbouring forest-dependent Maasai villages.
These communities resisted the new arrangement, prompting the government to begin a process of devolution of forest use rights to the local level through Village Environmental Committees, where local communities were transferred responsibilities for formulating forest management plans and crafting by-laws to enforce them. Eventually, Suledo Forest was granted the legal status of a Village Land Forest Reserve, formally establishing local management authority, and allowing for the sustainable commercial harvesting of forest resources for the benefit of the Maasai.
Equator Prize Winner: 2002
Location: Kiteto District, Manyara
Beneficiaries: 54,000 people in nine rural villages
Biodiversity: 167,400 ha community-managed forest
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Equator Prize 2002
Box 36, Kibaya, Kiteto, Arusha Region
Tel: 255 27 2552020
Fax: 255 27 2552170
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