Strategies for empowering the local people to participate in forest restoration

Strategies for empowering the local people to participate in forest restoration


This study examined how local people’s involvement in determining and establishing appropriate reforestation techniques and practices can yield positive results. The study also examined the conditions for local people’s willingness to participate in implementing such techniques in their practices. The study was conducted in 10 villages surrounding Mabira Forest Reserve located in Central Uganda.

Goals & Methods

The study hypothesizes that the socio-economic attributes of stakeholders’ surrounding the forests influence the nature of practices selected and the conditions for local participation, and that gender analysis influences the selection of restoration practices. Data were collected on locally favoured restoration techniques, choice of species (preference, domestication potential and plant uses), important indigenous species, conditions for local people’s involvement, socio-economic and political environment and farming practices in the area surrounding the reserve. Data collection methods included individual semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participatory forest surveys.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The results suggest that local people mainly engaged in practices that address their needs at the same time, such as tree planting on farm, enrichment tree planting in forest, control of soil erosion, and control invasive species. These activities provide local people with assurance for more access to forest resources, which assurance constitutes the main pre-conditions for their participation in forest restoration project. Therefore, it is important to build upon their knowledge to select participative and attractive restoration proposal that provides market opportunities and promotes equitable benefit sharing. In order for local people to efficiently run forest restoration project, the findings suggest capacity building for collaborative forest management, raising awareness on restoration, continuous monitoring by forest managers, and community to community exchange visits and trainings.


Galabuzi C, Eilu G, Mulugo L, Kakudidi E, Tabuti JRobert Ste, Sibelet N. Strategies for empowering the local people to participate in forest restoration. Agroforestry Systems. 2014;88:719–734. doi:10.1007/s10457-014-9713-6.


  • Department of Forestry Biodiversity and Tourism, Makerere University Kampala, Kampala, Uganda