Stellmacher, Till: Governing the Ethiopian Coffee Forests : A Local Level Institutional Analysis in Kaffa and Bale Mountains. - Bonn, 2007. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Till Stellmacher}},
title = {Governing the Ethiopian Coffee Forests : A Local Level Institutional Analysis in Kaffa and Bale Mountains},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2007,
note = {This work analyses institutional frameworks that determine the use, management and conservation of two afromontane rain forests, namely Koma Forest (Kaffa Zone, Southern Region) and Kankicho Forest (Bale Zone, Oromiya Region). The research focuses on the actual situation on the local level, the actors involved in the action arena and the specific institutional framework that impact on their interactions and behaviour. This approach reflects current processes of decentralisation and local ‘participation’ in Ethiopia. Diverse historic and present interventions of the state and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as the heterogeneity of the local communities are identified and analysed as exogenous variables. In this context, relevant institutions are understood as the rules and regulations that determine who of the local peasants enjoys which use rights to particular forest resources in which forest plot to what extent.
Ethiopia is known as the home country of the Coffea arabica gene-pool (Coffea arabica rubiacaeae). Until the present, both forests under investigation comprise naturally regenerating ‘wild’ populations of Coffea arabica in a unique genetic variability. Traditionally, the local peasants use this resource as a cash crop or for own consumption. In this work, Coffea arabica is considered as the flag-ship forest resource. However, the coffee forests are gradually depleted and destroyed, particularly due to use demands of local peasants. The work shows that both investigated coffee forests– although de jure nationalised and protected as “National Forest Priority Areas” – are fully segmented in use right plots that are owned and inherited by the local people. The concerning forest use and management practices are basically determined by locally-initiated structures that persisted the institutional change from ‘above’, like the elderly and iddir, a village social security fund. Nevertheless, traditional institutions are weakened due their lack of formal status as well as state-driven settlement of allochthone population with different cultural and institutional background.
It becomes apparent that parallel to the perpetuation of the concept of state control of all forest and land resources in Ethiopia, the self-imposed responsibility of the state exceeds its practical capability. State structures in the field of forest use, management and conservation are defined by a low implementation competence, not only due to a lack of financial, personnel and technical resources on all levels, but institutional and structural weaknesses. In local level reality, this created a complex legal pluralism in which both - traditional as well as state structures - lack implementation competence and/or legitimation. This promotes de facto open access situations of forest utilisation.
The work also evaluates the chances and limitations of a “Participatory Forest Management” (PFM) project, currently conducted by a south-NGO in Koma forest. The key initiative is to unite the local coffee forest users in a “Forest User Society” (FUS) apparelled with state-approved and exclusive forest use rights, and bound to a “Forest Management Plan” developed - under mediation of the NGO - between representatives of local state bodies and traditional authorities. The research results show disparities concerning acceptance, engagement and adherence to the FUS system between different communities as well as considerable practical difficulties in the sustainable installation of novel institutional structures. Future PFM projects are recommended to continue with the approach to formally legalise the forest use rights of local peasant communities, but thereby to not only to respect but empower locally existing institutional structures instead of developing and trying to implement new ‘artificial’ ones.},

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