Modern and traditional institutions can be compatible. Traditional institutions can act as effective vehicles for reducing poverty through environmental regeneration. In Shinyanga, these institutions meshed successfully with the more modern institutions of the popularly elected village councils. Both are necessary for the continued success of ngitili restoration.
Local knowledge helps decentralization succeed. Devolving responsibility for land management to local communities and institutions is often more effective than imposing centralized, top-down solutions. Local or indigenous knowledge of natural resources and traditional institutions and practices can be an invaluable resource, lending crucial site-specific information for management, and improving community buy-in and compliance with management rules. Only when the HASHI project embraced a more participatory and empowering strategy did ngitilirestoration begin to spread quickly.
Restored ecosystems generate substantial benefits. Regenerating local ecosystems can deliver significant improvements in livelihood security to rural families dependent on natural resources. ngitilibenefits, both subsistence products and cash income, have yielded an increase in family assets and nutrition, as well as generating income for public benefits such as classrooms and health clinics. In this way ngitili restoration has contributed directly to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, improving household incomes, education, and health, while restoring biodiversity and ecosystem integrity.
Inequitable distribution of benefits hurts the poor. Inequitable power relations between men and women and rich and poor can slant the benefits of ngitili restoration away from those who most need them. Without active intervention, the greater productivity that ngitilirestoration brings will benefit those with more land and assets such as livestock, simply perpetuating existing inequities and wasting some of the potential of ngitilifor poverty reduction.
Insecure tenure discourages regeneration. Insecurity of tenure can restrain the willingness of both communities and individuals to undertake ngitili restoration and to sustainably manage these enclosures. Clearly acknowledging in national law the secure tenure of both private and communal ngitiliwill help insure the future of the HASHI success.