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The Effects of Transaction Costs on Community Forest Management in Uganda

Uganda has 4.9 million hectares of forest resources, which cover 24 percent of the land area. Most of these forests resources have been controlled under customary tenure without clear management schemes. However, in recent years Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) has come to see local communities cooperating with government or its agencies in the management of gazetted forest reserves. Organized in Communal Land Associations (CLA), community members enter into a Memoranda of Understanding/Agreement with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) to manage part or whole of a gazetted forest reserve. In Budongo Sub-county in Masindi District (Western Uganda), a Community Based Organization (CBO), the Budongo Community Development Organization (BUCODO) working with the NFA has piloted CLAs as institutions through which communities can manage their forest resources. Presently little empirical evidence exists that points to the effects transaction costs in Community Forestry (CF) play in retarding the success of such initiatives. This study sought to: Examine the level of transaction costs households faced in community forestry and to gauge their effects on community forestry initiatives; and determine the distribution of community forestry transaction costs across households with diverse socio-economic characteristics and gauge their effects on community forestry initiatives.
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