Thursday, May 16, 2013
How the government is set to curb wanton harvesting of forest trees
THE government through Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) has established four programs which will help to curb effectively with the increased rate of wanton felling of forest trees being practiced by few untrustworthy people in the country, the Parliament was told yesterday. The formation of these programs are in line with the ministry’s directives formed through the government gazette No. 69 and 70 of 2006 respectively, whereby every district in the country has a committee whose responsibility is to curb with the unauthorized wanton harvesting of forest trees in their respective areas. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kagasheki said in Parliament that, the move by the government is reiterated in order to reduce the high rate of forest tree harvesting which is coming up at a high speed and therefore needs to be controlled so as to avoid any possible formation of land desert. The Minister was responding a question earlier asked by Kigoma North legislator, Zitto Kabwe (Chadema) on behalf of Rev. Peter Msigwa of Iringa town (Chadema) who wanted to know what steps has the government taken in order to curb with the increased phenomenon which has become notorious in most parts in the country. Minister Kagasheki outlined four major programs the government has put in place and said that among these are the establishment of a technology of preparing charcoal furnace, a program to be conducted in collaboration with the Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI). The making up of the special forest hives in order to get away from direct dependence on forest trees in increasing people’s incomes. However, he elaborated that, under the program the government has increased the distribution of special forest hives from 10,000 during 2012/13 and noted that, about 70,000 will be distributed in this 2013/14 fiscal year. He also noted that, his ministry will embark on an effective program whereby forest officers will be engaged in doing regular inspections and patrols as part of their visits in forest areas set aside in their respective districts so as to investigate the whole system of doing businesses related to tree harvesting such as charcoal making or wood planks. Another program he noted will be to increase the rate of tree planting in some parts of the country as part of a reform program in the ministry which aims at enhancing environmental surroundings of the areas concerned. He also noted that, the program will also increase workers’ performances. Meanwhile, a research work done by the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) revealed that, Tanzania is among the 10 leading countries in the world for the production of charcoal and the country uses about 2,650 tones of charcoal a day, a rate that requires the country to have 856.25 hectares of forest land to be used for forest tree harvest. The research reveals that, if the rate of forest tree harvesting continues in the country for a considerable time of between seven and ten years coming, the country will have no forest trees in its selected forest hives. In May 2009, the government of Tanzania and that one of Finland in collaboration with experts from FAO organization established a program to value the forest resources of the mainland Tanzania. According to the Minister Kagasheki, the results will be announced on 24th My next week when he meets Finland officials and FAO officials in Dar es Salaam.