Securing the customary tenure rights of forest-dependent communities in Lamwo district, northern Uganda: Insights from Participatory Prospective Analysis

Securing the customary tenure rights of forest-dependent communities in Lamwo district, northern Uganda: Insights from Participatory Prospective Analysis

Key messages

  • Lamwo district provides an interesting case of a post-conflict customary forest tenure system under a situation of changing forest governance, as forest tenure reforms introduced since 2001 give local communities extensive rights to forests.
  • In 2015, forest stakeholders took part in a Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA) exercise that identified the determinants of forest tenure security in the district as: forest governance; the role and capacity of key stakeholders (particularly NGOs and customary institutions); an increasing demand for forest products; and pressure to convert forest land to large-scale agriculture.
  • Based on exploring the implications of the above driving forces, the participant stakeholders developed one desirable and three undesirable future scenarios of forest tenure security. The desirable scenario sees a well-informed and active local community, which is aware of its forest tenure rights; an affordable forest land registration process which is not too bureaucratic; positive political influences; and well-funded and staffed district government that oversees and coordinates the work of NGOs, customary leaders, politicians and other stakeholders involved in forest tenure reform implementation. Undesirable scenarios are characterized by a lack of these features.
  • Participants recommended the following initiatives to promote forest and land tenure security under customary systems in Lamwo district: 1) formulating and implementing bylaws; 2) creating forest conservation committees for each clan, to ensure proper management of their forest areas; 3) proactive community participation in decision-making, particularly in regards to women’s rights and involvement; 4) popularizing, simplifying and translating documents into local languages, including guidelines on registration and declaration of customary forests; 5) regulating harvesting rates for forest products (especially timber), 6) improving the system for registering forest and land areas; and 7) undertaking capacity-building initiatives.
  • The PPA exercise revealed state and non-stakeholders share common interests in protecting the forest and land tenure rights of forestdependent communities under customary tenure systems in the district. Stakeholders pledged support for improved implementation, collaboration and coordination, to achieve the shared goals of forest tenure security for rights holders in Lamwo district by 2025.

Authors: Mshale, B.; Mukasa, C.; Tibazalika, A.; Mwangi, E.; Banana, A.Y.; Wamala, P.; Okiror, G.

Topic: tenure, community forestry, governance, gender

Geographic: Uganda

Series: CIFOR Infobrief no. 195

Pages: 8p

Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia

Publication Year: 2017

DOI: 10.17528/cifor/006639


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