Determinants of participation in state and private PES projects in Uganda

Kellen Aganyira*, Robert Kabumbuli, Vincent B. Muwanika, John R.S. Tabuti, Douglas Sheil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change mitigation can improve rural livelihoods through payment for environmental services (PES) approaches. However, participation in PES projects is voluntary, uncertain and some people's participation is more important than others. In this article, we use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine factors that determine local peoples’ participation in state (Rwoho and Kasagala) and private (‘Undisclosed’ and Hoima) forestry carbon projects in Uganda. We find that such determinants vary within and between projects. For example, older people with more land parcels were more likely to participate in private projects compared to their counterparts in state projects. In plantation forests, participation was motivated by access to forest products (timber and charcoal), while the desire to conserve water sources was important for participants adjacent to natural forests. While expected carbon payments were important in one state project, they were less significant in the others. Non-participation was linked to high entry costs, distrust for forest managers in state projects and non-ownership of natural forests. In all case studies, non-participation was mainly associated to limited project information. To gain broad participation, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) and other PES mechanisms must critically identify and consider community specific needs, expectations and concerns in their design and implementation. This requires willingness to diagnose community concerns and allow adjustments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00370
JournalScientific African
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Capital assets: REDD+, Uganda
  • Community participation
  • Forestry carbon
  • Payment for environmental services


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