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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Communal Management of Forests in the Semi-arid and Sub-humid Regions of Africa: Past Practice and Prospects for the Future
Author:Shepherd, GillISNI
Periodical:Development Policy Review
Geographic terms:Africa
Subjects:land law
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7679.1991.tb00181.x
Abstract:This article is based on a literature search and analysis of indigenous forest management practices in dryland Africa. Since no serious investment of time and effort with respect to the management of natural woodland will be made unless the resource is owned, the mechanism for ownership is the initial focus of this paper. Attention is paid to the genealogy of the lineage, which is the charter for access to land among many herding groups; the descent-and-residence rights of sedentary farmers; the position of the household head and the household; the types of management actions undertaken by rightholders; and the creation of tenure through the investment of labour. A discussion of indigenous woodland management methods deals with long and short fallow systems (Butyrospermum parkii parkland, Faidherbia albida parkland, Acacia senegal gum gardens); reservation, sacred groves and religious sanction; and management of the individual tree. An examination of the role of the State in woodland management shows that the imposition of European concepts of property and land tenure has had a disastrous effect. Other changes negatively affecting woodland management include tenure and land use changes, the loss of authority of local leaders, population growth, the shortening of fallows, the growth of towns, and drought. In conclusion, four participatory woodland management projects are discussed: Guesselbodi, Niger; Rawashda forest, eastern Sudan; Bay Region, Somalia; and the Turkana rural development project, Kenya. Bibliogr., notes.