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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 459102, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/459102
Research Article

The Land Use and Cover Change in Miombo Woodlands under Community Based Forest Management and Its Implication to Climate Change Mitigation: A Case of Southern Highlands of Tanzania

1Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Forestry Training Institute, Arusha, Tanzania
2Department of Forest Economics, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
3Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA), University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Received 26 December 2014; Revised 23 February 2015; Accepted 23 February 2015

Academic Editor: Guy R. Larocque

Copyright © 2015 Z. J. Lupala et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In Tanzania, miombo woodland is the most significant forest vegetation with both ecological and socioeconomic importance. The vegetation has been threatened from land use and cover change due to unsustainable utilization. Over the past two decades, community based forest management (CBFM) has been practiced to address the problem. Given the current need to mitigate global climate change, little is known on the influence of CBFM to the land use and cover change in miombo woodlands and therefore compromising climate change mitigation strategies. This study explored the dynamic of land use and covers change and biomass due to CBFM and established the implication to climate change mitigation. The study revealed increasing miombo woodland cover density with decreasing unsustainable utilization. The observed improvement in cover density and biomass provides potential for climate change mitigation strategies. CBFM also developed solidarity, cohesion, and social control of miombo woodlands illegal extraction. This further enhances permanence, reduces leakage, and increases accountability requirement for carbon credits. Collectively with these promising results, good land use plan at village level and introduction of alternative income generating activities can be among the best options to further reduce land use change and biomass loss in miombo woodlands.