The Impact of Population Growth on Managing Forest Resources in West Usamabara, Tanzania

Simon Charles Lugazo, Reguli B. Mushy


This paper assessed the impact of rapid population growth on forest resource
management in West Usambara, Tanzania. It determined the trend of
population growth in Tanzania over the past thirty years, socio-economic
factors affecting forest resource uses and evaluated intervention measures on
forest resources management. Surveyss were conducted in four wards Mayo,
Baga, Mgwashi and Bumbuli and assessed the impact of rapid growth of
population on forest resource management. The study revealed that the
population of the study area has almost doubled from 246,049 in 1978 to
492,441 in 2012 with population density of 120.4 persons per square Kilometer
which is above the national population density of 51 persons per square
Kilometer. Furthermore, 84% of the respondents collected fire wood from the
forest while 96% revealed to depend in forest for different forest products like
fire wood, vegetables, fruits and medicine. About 96% revealed to practice
PFM which is underperformed due to different challenges mentioned. The
study concluded that population growth contributed highly to the forest
destruction. Finally, it is recommended that awareness rising on family
planning should be promoted, land use plan developed and Participatory
Forest Management actively established with equal benefit sharing among the
actors. Likewise, the policy and regulations should be reviewed to favour forest
adjacent community’s needs.

Key words: Population growth, Forest management, forest resources.

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