Although communities have been living within forests and dependent on forest resources, in Mozambique, their role was not formally recognized until the late 1990s. The forest law of 1997 was the first to refer to communities as stakeholders in the forest sector, in line with the national Policy and Strategy for the Development of the Forestry and Wildlife Sector. As a new element, several pilot projects were established during the late 1990s and early 2000s to produce lessons that would inform policy and technical aspects. Community forestry received most of the attention until the first decade of this century, however, it seems that while communities have gained a role in the management of the forest sector, there are still challenges to fully implementing and securing community forestry initiatives. In this study, we document the advent and evolution of community forestry in Mozambique, discuss the conditions for success in community forestry, and discuss two cases of community forestry that have survived over beyond the end of external support. We conclude that devolution and training are the basic incentives, but additional incentives, including diversification of sources of revenue from non-destructive forestry activities, are required to maintain the stability of community forestry over time.
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