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The institutional sphere of coffee forest management in Ethiopia: local level findings from Koma forest, Kaffa zone

Stellmacher, Till and Mollinga, Peter (2009) 'The institutional sphere of coffee forest management in Ethiopia: local level findings from Koma forest, Kaffa zone.' International Journal of Social Forestry, 2 (1). pp. 43-66.

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Abstract

Ethiopia’s coffee forests have witnessed high rates of deforestation during the last decades. Main reasons identified are intensified forest resource utilisation and expansion of smallholder agriculture. These are major drivers, however, as the processes and impacts are mediated and promoted by institutional arrangements through which intensification and expansion unroll. This paper interprets institutional arrangements primarily as rules and regulations. It provides an understanding of the particular (informal) forest resource use rights of smallholders in Kaffa Zone, South-western Ethiopia. Given the path dependent character of land tenure and property rights institutions, this research takes a historical perspective. In the case study area, the coffee forests are historically divided into use right plots individually held by local peasants. The nationalisation of all land in Ethiopia in 1975 was the major institutional turning point in which responsibility for forest use and management was by decree shifted from local peasants towards newly established centralised state entities. These bodies neither had experience, expertise nor financial resources to tackle the challenge of forest governance. In practice, state control did not ‘reach’ the forest areas, and rather created a muddled and frequently changing institutional framework that turned out to have no, or only minimal actual impact. Consequently, use and management of forest resources in large parts of Ethiopia remained defined by traditional use rights.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
Depositing User: Emmanuel Ashiedu Codjoe
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2010 13:49
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/9168

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