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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Forest Rights, Privileges and Prohibitions: Contextualising State Forestry Policy in Colonial Tanganyika

Roderick P. Neumann

Environment and History 3(1997): 45-68

This paper analyses the development of state forest management in Tanganyika and its effects on African access and use rights within the larger context of British colonial governance. It explores how the ideologies and interests represented by scientific forestry, the League of Nations Mandate, indirect rule, and the general process of African peasantisation intersected in complex and contradictory ways to restructure African forest rights. Efforts to resolve contradictions resulted sometimes in the spatial segregation of African and Forest Department interests, sometimes in uneasy compromise, and, ultimately, in a steady erosion of peasant access to forest lands and resources.

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