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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


KANGALAWE, Hezron R.  and  SWART, Sandra. "Everyone is becoming a forester": From state monopoly to participatory forest management in Sao Hill Forest, Tanzania, c.1990-2015. Historia [online]. 2021, vol.66, n.2, pp.74-100. ISSN 2309-8392.

In 2000, Sao Hill Forest, the biggest state-owned plantation in Tanzania, was forced to adopt "community forest management" - a paradigm usually adopted in protecting only natural forests. We hope to contribute to the scholarship on forest management by using this unusual case study - taken from plantation forests. Research on community or participatory forest management has focused on natural forests - but plantations offer different issues to consider. We argue that the state was compelled to adopt, but also adapt to the model of community management in order to fit a neo-liberal donor context while, on a practical level, protecting it from local environmental hazards. To contextualise this historical case-study, we explain why Sao Hill stagnated and then examine the survival strategies adopted by the managers at the plantation. We then explore the relationship of the forest project with the surrounding communities, highlighting different local and vernacular responses to what came to be understood as "community forest management". We use this case study to examine this idiographic application of community resource management, in order to demonstrate the real-world use of environmental history in informing current policy decisions.

Keywords : Tanzania; Sao Hill Forest; World Bank; plantation forests; participatory forest management; community-based resource management; environmental history; forest history.

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