State-community partnership as an option for sustainable management of an Androstachys johnsonii dominated woodland in Mabote District, Mozambique

Cuambe, Carla Cristina (2004-12)

Thesis (MscFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The state owned and managed forest and woodland resources during the colonial and postindependence periods in Mozambique. However, the centralised government forestry policies failed to stop the continual loss of natural forest and woodland resources under the state control. This study is concerned with the sustainability of a cimbirre (Androstachys johnson iidominated) woodland in a rural part of Mozambique. A. johnsonii trees are the major source of subsistence and income generation in southern Mozambique. Nevertheless, the exploitation of the species is running illegally because the diameters used for poles are below the harvestable diameter limit defined by the forestry legislation. This study is part of the research activities of a community-based natural resources management project being implemented in the Mabote District. The study focuses on the four villages covered by this project funded by the Government of Finland. It intends to develop guidelines for sustainable management of the woodland which is of a great concern to the rural woodland-dependent communities. The study examines the socio-economic context of commercial harvesting of A. johnsonii trees for poles by local communities, as well as the sustainability of the woodland resources concerned, especially with respect to the setting of minimum harvestable diameter limits. It is assumed that the current deliberate burning of cimbirre woodlands to kill the desired species would cease once a sustainable diameter limit is established. Three methods are used to respond to the objectives of the study, namely: (1) Semi-structured interviews and group discussions with key informants; (2) Structured questionnaire surveys submitted to households randomly selected within the four villages being studied; and (3) Forest resource assessment. The literature review documents the theoretical issues of sustainable management of natural resources and forest in particular, both past and present. It indicates that a state-community partnership should be considered for sustainable management of the area. It is also valid for communal areas in Mozambique in general, where the government legally controls forest resources. The implementation of the structural adjustment programme that Mozambique currently pursues, allied to the retrenchments in the gold mining industry in South Africa and the abolishment of recruitment of Mozambican labourers in the South African mining industry, have transformed the traditional forms of rural livelihoods. These measures provide rather large incentives for private interests to exploit poles for commercial purposes. Findings of this study based on the forest resource assessment provide an ecological basis for allowing harvesting of juvenile trees of A. johnsonii for poles by local communities, because the current level of harvesting trees does not lead to woodland degradation. Besides, the centralised policies that governed the allocation of forest resources both in colonial and postindependent Mozambique have transformed traditional authorities. This has led to a confusion of roles and conflicting power in forest management. Key words: Community involvement, deforestation, sustainable natural forest management.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende die koloniale en post-onafhanklike periode in Mosambiek is die woude en bosland hulpbronne deur die staat beheer en besit. Dié gesentraliseerde regeringsbeleide het egter nie die voortdurende verlies aan natuurlike hulpbronne onder staatsbeheer gestop nie. Hierdie studie handle oor die volhoubaarheid van 'n cimbirre (Androstachys johnson ii-dominated) inheemse bos in 'n landelike deel van Mosambiek. A. johnsonii bome is die hoofbron van bestaan en inkomstegenerering in die suidelike deel van Mosambiek. Nogtans word dié spesie onwettiglik uitgebuit omdat die deursnee vir pale onder die oesbare minimum deursnee is, soos bepaal deur bosbouwetgewing. Dié studie vorm deel van die navorsingsaktiwiteite van 'n gemeenskapsbeheerde, natuurlike hulpbron bestuursprojek wat tans geïmplementeer word in die Mabote Distrik. Die fokus van dié studie is vier dorpies wat gedek word deur die projek. Die doelwit is om riglyne te ontwikkel vir die volhoubare bestuur van die bosgebied wat 'n groot bron van bekommernis is vir die landelike gemeenskappe wat van die bos afhanklik is. Die studie ondersoek die sosioekonomiese konteks vir die kommersiële oes van A. johnsonii bome vir pale deur die plaaslike gemeenskappe, sowel as die volhoubaarheid van die bosebied se hulpbronne hier betrokke, veral met die oog op die bepaling van 'n minimum deursnee beperking vir oesdoeleindes. Dit word aanvaar dat die huidige doelbewuste brand van cimbirre boslande, om die gewenste spesies dood te maak, beeïndig sal word as 'n volhoubare deursnee limiet vasgestel word. Dit sal gedoen word met behulp van insette deur die afhanklike gemeenskappe. Drie metodes is gebruik om die doelwitte van die studie te behaal; (1) Semigestruktureerde onderhoude en groepbesprekings met kerninformante; (2) Getruktureerde vraelys opname wat aan lukraak geselekteerde huishoudings binne die vier dorpies (wat deel maak van studie) gegee is; en (3) Hulpbronwaardering in die bos. Die literatuurstudie dokumenteer die teoretiese kwessies oor die volhoubare bestuur van natuurlike hulpbronne en dan spesifiek woude, beide in die verlede en in die huidige situasie. Die gevolgtrekking is dat 'n staatgemeenskapsvennootskap oorweeg moet word vir die volhoubare bestuur van die area. Dit geld ook in die algemeen vir die kommunale areas in Mosambiek, waar die regering wettiglik woudhulpbronne beheer. Die implementering van strukturele aanpassings programme tans in Mosambiek, asook die afdankings in die goudmynindustrie in Suid-Afrika en die beeïndiging aan die werwing van Mosambiekse arbeiders deur Suid-Afrika, het tradisionele vorms van landelike broodwinning getransformeer. Dit lei weer tot die misbruik van pale vir kommersiële doeleindes, deur die privaat sektor. Bevindings uit dié studie, gebaseer op die woudhulpbron waarderings, verskaf 'n ekologiese basis vir die oes van jong A. johnsonii bome vir pale deur die plaaslike gemeenskappe, want die huidige vlak van oes van dié bome lei nie tot boslandagteruitgang nie. Boonop het die gesentraliseerde beleide wat die toekenning van woudhulpbronne beheer, in beide 'n koloniale Mosambiek en 'n post-onafhanklike Mosambiek, tradisionele gesagsstrukture getransformeer. Dit het gelei tot 'n verwarring in rolle en 'n konflik in mag in inheemse bosbestuur. Key words: Deforestasie, gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid, volhoubare natuurlike bosbestuur.

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