Through the case study of Derre Forest Reserve in Zambezia province, this paper explores the theory and practice of community based approaches to natural resource management. This approach has been widely promoted in southern Africa, and is central to elements of the Mozambican forestry and wildlife policy of 1999. The paper examines the history of community involvement in forest use in the reserve, and the changing nature of local organisations. In a place where limited livelihood options exist, and where poverty is extreme and widespread, gaining access to forest resources for livelihoods and incomes is critical. One route to increasing the benefits to local people has been the through joint ventures with private sector players. The experience of this has been mixed, as has the functioning of local organisations. The degree to which the emerging organisational arrangements are legitimate and inclusionary is questioned, as membership fees potentially exclude many poorer community members. The complementarities and conflicts with existing organisations, both formal and informal, are explored, and the challenges of institutional design for community based management raised.
Nhantumbo, I.; Norfolk, S.; Pereira, J. Community Based Natural Resources Management in Mozambique: A Theoretical or Practical Strategy for Local Sustainable Development? The Case Study of Derre Forest Reserve. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK (2003) 37 pp. [Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa Research Paper 10]