The importance of local forest benefits: Valuation of nontimber forest products in the eastern arc mountains in Tanzania

M. Schaafsma*, S. MorseJones, P. Posen, R. D. Swetnam, A. Balmford, I. J. Bateman, N. Burgess, S. A.O. Chamshama, B. Fisher, T. Freeman, V. Geofrey, R. Green, A. S. Hepelwa, A. Hernández-Sirvent, S. Hess, G. C. Kajembe, G. Kayharara, M. Kilonzo, K. Kulindwa, J. F. LundS. S. Madoffe, L. Mbwambo, H. Meilby, Y. M. Ngaga, I. Theilade, T. Treue, P. Van Beukering, V. G. Vyamana, R. K. Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the spatial distribution of the quantity and value of Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) collection gives insight into the benefits that local communities obtain from forests, and can inform decisions about the selection of forested areas that are eligible for conservation and enforcement of regulations. In this paper we estimate transferable household production functions of NTFP extraction in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAM) in Tanzania, based on information from several multisite datasets related to the behaviour of over 2000 households. These micro-level models can be used to predict the value of NTFP collection across a broader spatial scale. The study shows that the total benefit flow of charcoal, firewood, poles and thatch from the EAM to the local population has an estimated value of TSH 59 billion (USD 42 million) per year, and provides an important source of additional income for local communities, especially the poorest. We therefore argue that further restrictions on forest access to promote conservation will require additional policies to prevent a consequent increase in poverty, and an enforced trade-off between conservation and energy supply to rural and urban households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-49
Number of pages49
JournalWorking Paper - Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Benefit transfer
  • Environmental valuation
  • Non-timber forest products

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