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Volume 10 March 2005
ISSN 1438-7890
African Journal of Environmental Assessment and Management
Revue africaine de gestion et d’évaluation environnementales

Impacts of Population Pressure and Poverty Alleviation Strategies on Common Property Resource Availability in Rural Tanzania


Ndalahwa F. MADULU

Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35097, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Tel: +255-22-2410144; Fax: +255-22-2410393; E-mail:


This paper outlines the linkages between population pressure and common property resources availability in Tanzania. It examines on whether population pressure has an influence on diminishing common property resources at the local level and establishes the coping mechanisms of the local communities in response to new circumstances and changing environment. In the course of discussion, an attempt has been made to assess the extent to which population pressure have influenced availability of common property resources at the local level; and identify policy implications and alternatives strategies to cope with diminishing common property resources. Further analysis have been made of the extent to which poverty alleviation strategies at the local level influence non-sustainable use and degradation of common property resources. These issues require a closer examination of the circumstances under which population; development and environment linkages manifest themselves. Whereas the population has shown a continuous increase, there is less information about the rate at which the common property resources are diminishing in response to changing demographic conditions. Similarly, the impacts of various poverty alleviation strategies on diminish common property resources at the local level are not well documented. Small and large-scale mining operations in Mabuki and Maganzo villages has been used as an example to illustrate the transformation in the way local communities use and manage common property resources. The identified long-term implications of the various practices to include increased environmental degradation; accelerated food insecurity, increased poverty, diminishing common property resources, increased land use conflicts, and creation of a landless class at the village level. These implications require policy commitment and support to enable sustainable utilization of common property resources.

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