Public Assets Management in Brief: How Has Change in Resource Ownership Affected the Efficiency in Forest and Wildlife Operations?

Wenceslaus Mselya Sobayi


It is imperative that power and authority to decide on matters relating to forest and wildlife operations are actually being devolved to local communities and the private sector, as well as discouraging neo-patrimonial and clientelistic actions in forest and wildlife management. The paper reveals that local organisations including the village governments, district governments and private sector are usually being expected to behave in ways that are as close as possible to the MNRT’s wishes. In other words, power and authority to make decisions on forest and wildlife resources continue to be centrally controlled by MNRT. The paper shows that both Forest Policy 1998 and Wildlife Policy 2007 (RE) advocate decentralisation of power and authority in forest and wildlife operations to local communities and private sector in Tanzania. However, during implementation of both policies, actions of bureaucrats controvert with particular policy provisions. The bureaucrats have decided to establish legal and regulatory provisions which prohibit the devolution process contrary to the existing policy requirements. Additionally, paper indicates presence of neo-patrimonial and clientelistic tendencies in forest and wildlife management. Patrons have been using respective regulations to advance their personal interest and also to legitimise their actions especially when they make neo-patrimonial decisions. In the same vein, they have been making clientelistic decisions on matters relating to forest and wildlife management, and maximise their personal benefits. Hence, paper suggests that because of the prevailing poor policy outcomes in forest and wildlife management, bureaucrats in MNRT should now reconsider and look at devolution in both forest and wildlife conservation as an alternative strategy for increasing efficiency in forest and wildlife operations. Paper also suggests that bureaucrats should ensure that the embedded neo-patrimonial elements or behaviours are discouraged in forest and wildlife conservation.

Keywords: Centralism, Decentralism, Neo-patrimonialism, Clientelism, Forest and Wildlife Management, Tanzania

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/10-5-03

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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