Empowering Community Based Forest and Tree User and Producer Groups

Empowering Community Based Forest and Tree User and Producer Groups – An Outlook study of stakeholder groups in the management and use of forest and tree resources in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia

Community Based Forest/tree user and producer groups (CBFG) play an important role for sustainable forest use and livelihood improvement in East and Southern Africa. Collaborative forest management with stakeholder participation has therefore been supported by development agencies and NGOs, and also provided for in national policies in most countries in the region including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. However, the full potential of these policies has not yet been implemented and the realization of the full potential of the CBFGs is limited by weak organizational/administrative and operational/technical capacities.

The aim of this study was to investigate the current situation for the CBFGs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, and especially to look into operational and organizational barriers for the further development of the producer groups and suggest remedies to these problems.  The study was commissioned by the “Forest Initiative” (FI) and African Forest Forum (AFF),  combined literature studies and qualitative-participatory workshops with 11 CBFGs in the five selected countries were validated at a workshop with stakeholders and experts in Nairobi.