Strengthening tenure security and community participation in forest management in Kibaale district, Uganda: Insights from participatory prospective analysis

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Key messages

  • Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA) proved to be effective for encouraging collective reflection to identify threats to forest tenure security and to develop ways for improving local people's tenure security over forests in Kibaale district in Uganda's Western Region. A PPA exercise carried out in 2015-16 brought together stakeholders from district government, civil society, local communities and the Bunyoro kingdom, as well as politicians, to discuss the past, present and future of forest tenure security in the district. As the forest and land sectors are male-dominated, a separate women-only PPA workshop was organized to gather women’s perspectives.
  • While the mixed group and women-only PPA participants identified four common key influences on forest tenure security, they also each identified four unique influences. The four commonly identified influences were the role played by politicians, the implementation capacity of key stakeholders (particularly at district level), the implementation and enforcement of forest laws and policies, and population dynamics, including the influx of migrants. The four influences identified only by the women's workshop were access to adequate funding for reform implementation, the level of security in the district, and the role of NGOs, particularly those working to advance and defend women's forest tenure rights. Influencing factors identified only by the mixed group were the knowledge, attitudes and participation of local people in implementing forest tenure reforms, and the extent of forest tenure rights actually granted to communities.
  • Stakeholders identified two desirable and three undesirable scenarios to envision the potential forest tenure security situation in Kibaale in 2025. Desirable scenarios involved participatory formulation and implementation of forest policies and plans, clear tenure rights, adequate funding for implementing forest tenure reforms, well-informed local communities, and corruption-free political leadership. Undesirable scenarios were characterized by insecure forest tenure rights due to immigration, and unfair enforcement of forest laws in favour of powerful, well-connected immigrants over indigenous peoples.
  • The PPA then identified potential actions to be undertaken by various stakeholders to improve access to local forest tenure rights over the next decade. These included: the dissemination of laws, policies and technologies to communities and their political leaders; increased community involvement in resource planning and implementation (including the enforcement of rules); and the development of policies and laws to address problems caused by immigration.
  • The women-only PPA workshop viewed as a major threat the prospect of men taking over trees that women have planted (due to discriminatory cultural practices that prevent women from owning land and trees). They also identified factors that could undermine forest tenure security over the next decade, including the lack of funding to invest in tree planting and for acquiring their own land, lack of access to markets, political instability, and limited NGO influence.

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