Gender, tenure and community forests in Uganda
Over the past century, the management of forest resources in Uganda has vacillated from a centralised to a decentralised approach. With the Forest Act in 1993, the country began a new round of governance reforms that devolved ownership and management of central forest reserves to local governments. Four years later, the Local Government Act transferred management functions over forest reserves to the districts and sub-counties. By 2000, however, the deforestation rate – already the highest in eastern Africa – had accelerated. Despite the trend toward greater participation of communities in forest management, women have been largely shut out of decision making. Yet women are important actors, depending on forest resources for subsistence, as safety nets and even for income. Through this study, the researchers wish to contribute toward improving women’s tenure rights to forests through their increased participation in communityforest user-groups with regard both to decision making and livelihood benefits.