Do locals have a say? Local participation in governance of forest plantations in Tanzania and Mozambique

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


With the expansion of large-scale forest plantations in developing countries, concerns are rising about their relation and integration with adjacent local communities. Local participation in forest governance can potentially affect the distributional effects of plantations’ benefits and mitigate possible adverse effects. Using data from villages adjacent to forest plantations in Tanzania and Mozambique, we explore differences in local participation between plantations. In Tanzania, we assess if there are differences in local participation in private and state-owned plantations. In Mozambique, we compare local participation in certified private plantations with local participation in a conventionally managed private plantation to examine the relation between certification standards and local forest governance outcomes. Our quantitative analysis shows that households in villages adjacent to private certified plantations are more likely to have a say in the activities of the plantations than households in villages adjacent to non-certified private and state owned plantations. We use insights from access theory to explain our findings: private plantations may have more incentives to involve local people to guarantee their investments in plantations than state-owned plantations. Certification requirements may also strengthen these incentives by requiring plantations to comply with national regulations and international conventions to identify and uphold customary rights of local communities and address their concerns. While households in villages adjacent to certified private forest plantations in Tanzania are more likely to report that they are satisfied with their say, we did not find a significant result in Mozambique. We further found that some social groups (male-headed, with more education and those who work for plantations) are more likely to have a say in plantations activities than their counterparts in both countries. We emphasize that improved and fair local participation in governance of plantations is vital in terms of the sustainability of large-scale plantations and integrating them in rural landscapes
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSecond International Forest Policy Meeting (2IFPM) - Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
Duration: 11 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


ConferenceSecond International Forest Policy Meeting (2IFPM)

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