Environment and Development Economics

Research Article

Efficiency, enforcement and revenue tradeoffs in participatory forest management: an example from Tanzania

Elizabeth J. Z. Robinsona1 and Razack B. Lokinaa2

a1 Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden; Environment for Development Tanzania, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and International Food Policy Research Institute, Ghana. Email: e.robinson@cgiar.org

a2 Environment for Development Tanzania, Department of Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Email: rlokina@udsm.ac.tz


Where joint forest management has been introduced into Tanzania, ‘volunteer’ patrollers take responsibility for enforcing restrictions over the harvesting of forest resources, often receiving as an incentive a share of the collected fine revenue. Using an optimal enforcement model, we explore how that share, and whether villagers have alternative sources of forest products, determines the effort patrollers put into enforcement and whether they choose to take a bribe rather than honestly reporting the illegal collection of forest resources. Without funds for paying and monitoring patrollers, policy makers face tradeoffs over illegal extraction, forest protection and revenue generation through fine collection.

(Received May 30 2010)

(Revised March 02 2011)

(Accepted May 08 2011)

(Online publication August 11 2011)


The authors are grateful to the Sida-funded Environment for Development Initiative for funding the fieldwork for this project and to EfD Annual Meeting participants for valuable comments.