During the 1980s and 1990s there were two major changes to forest management objectives in Tanzania. Firstly, it was recognized that some of the forests, notably those on mountains in the east of the country and the coastal plain, are exceptionally rich in species of restricted distribution. Recent analysis has even placed these forests amongst the most important biodiversity hotspots world-wide. Secondly, there was a recognition that communities needed to be much more involved in forest management. The Forest Act, 2002, which replaces the 1957 Forest Ordinance, tackles both of these objectives and introduces some new concepts of forest ownership. Moreover it makes arrangements for establishing a fund that promotes protection of biodiversity and sustainable development of forest resources. This note first briefly reviews the history of forest law in Tanzania and then discusses innovations introduced by the 2002 Act.
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