This paper begins by discussing Tanzania's increasing recognition of the need to bring individuals, local groups, and communities into the policy, planning, and management process if woodlands are to remain productive in the coming decades.The article finds that:central control of forests takes management responsibility away from the communities most dependent on them, inevitably resulting in tensionsTanzania has enthusiastically established community-owned and -managed forest reservesthe most successful initiatives involving communities and individuals have been those that moved away from a user-centric approach (like that often used in South Asia) and toward an approach based on the idea that communities can be most effective when they are fully involved in all aspects of decisionmaking about management and protectionthe government should allow communities to become engaged as managers in their own right, rather than as passive participants who merely agree to the management parameters defined by the government
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