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Research Report

The distribution of powers and responsibilities affecting forests, land use, and REDD+ across levels and sectors in Tanzania: A legal study

Lawrence Mbwambo
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Pages: 60
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-11)

    This report covers the Tanzania mainland, but not Zanzibar. This is because Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania (R.E. 2002) states that forests and natural resources do not correspond to the Union and Zanzibar therefore has different laws and policies for these sectors.

    Forests and woodlands in mainland Tanzania cover 48 million ha, which is about 55% of the country’s total land area (National REDD+ Strategy, 2013). It is recognized that forests are essential resources, especially for the disadvantaged sections of society, the majority of which live in rural areas (Kaushal and Kala 2004). Forests...

  2. (pp. 12-22)

    During the past two decades, extensive policy reforms have transformed the institutional conditions for natural resource governance in most developing countries, including Tanzania. After independence, the centralized governments in such countries took it upon themselves to govern all the valuable resources under their territorial control (Andersson 2006). The first 30 years of independence in Tanzania was an era of one-party state socialism. Only people belonging to the ruling party participated in decision-making processes and the majority of people were excluded. Decentralization programs in Tanzania in the 1970s were largely about the top-down deconcentration of central government institutions and failed to...

  3. (pp. 23-25)

    For several years now, revenue collection from forest resources in Tanzania has been based on timber and non-timber forest products, excluding carbon. This activity was previously under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism’s Forest and Beekeeping Division. However, following the Public Service Reforms Program, whose main focus is to improve the service delivery and regulatory functions of ministries, independent departments and agencies through a more efficient public service, the Tanzania Forest Service was established in 2010. The TFS was created as a semi-autonomous government executive agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Executive Agencies Act...

  4. (pp. 26-38)

    The local government acts (District Authorities Act No. 7 of 1982 and Urban Authorities Act No. 8 of 1982) assign wide-ranging but also very broad and occasionally vaguely-formulated functions. These include the major social sectors such as primary education, primary health care and rural water supply, as well as local government roads, agricultural development and a broad range of natural resource management issues (Kajembe and Marageri 2009). Kajembe and Marageri (2009) further argued that the local government legislation is fairly general and brief on the specific mandate of local governments in relation to the management of natural resources (including forests),...

  5. (pp. 39-43)

    The government enacted the Land Tenure (Village Settlement) Act of 1965 specifically to regulate land tenure in new village settlements established on virgin land. The act clearly declared that rights of occupancy for the villages would be granted to a rural settlement commission. Meanwhile, “derivative rights” could be awarded to individual members of the settlement, while the full legal rights to all settlement land were to remain with the commission. “Derivative rights” were awarded to encourage individualization of land tenure, but the security of tenure provided by such rights was made subject to limiting stipulations. Although it is claimed that...

  6. (pp. 44-45)

    This section reviews the roles of ministries in landuse decision making. It is important to note that all ministries’ activities are land-based since their infrastructure is on the land. However, the roles of a selected few relevant ministries are presented here. The Land Act and Village Land Act of 1999 define “land” as the surface of the earth and the earth below the surface, things naturally growing on the land, buildings and other structures permanently fixed to or under land, and land covered by water. The definition in the Land Act further excludes minerals and petroleum substances in the land,...