Govt vows to serve forests

KILIMANJARO: VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Philip Mpango has directed forest research institutions in the country to fasttrack research works aimed at using technology to preserve forests in the country and enhance forest conservation.

New dawn for minerals sector Dr Mpango issued the directives yesterday during the commemoration of the World Forest Day and the National Tree Planting Day held in Same District, Kilimanjaro Region, yesterday.

The research institutions include Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI) and Forestry Training Institute, Olmotonyi, Arusha.

He said that the efforts should involve research on clean and low-cost cooking energy, alternative energy for drying tobacco in regions that grow the cash crop and research on designing alternative products that come from trees.

“If we increase the pace of planting trees, protecting existing forests and get rid of dirty energy, we will be sure of rain and enable the sustainability of human life and other creatures as well as environment conservation in general,” Dr Mpango said.

However, the VP directed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania Forestry Service Agency (TFS), National Carbon Monitoring Centre and President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments (PORALG) to collaborate with stakeholders to find and adopt modern technologies to facilitate the monitoring of conservation programmes and timely access to information regarding forest destruction.

According to Dr Mpango, the 2020/2025 CCM election manifesto directs development of various tree-planting programmes to protect environment and increase income for citizens and the nation in general as well as to continue with efforts to establish and preserve new areas of forest reserves.

The manifesto also directs to mobilise and implement a campaign for planting 1.5 million trees per year, sustain the green Tanzania campaign, increasing the area of tree plantations and reduce deforestation.

Similarly, Dr Mpango directed TFS to ensure that it provides education on taking care of tree nurseries at the council, ward and village levels as well as completing the guidelines and regulations for the use of chainsaws to reduce illegal logging.

He instructed city councils to set aside garden areas for recreational activities, entertainment and physical exercise for the citizens which will also beautify cities.

The VP also instructed Regional Commissioners to ensure that President Samia’s goals to eradicate dirty cooking energy by 2030 are fulfilled, adding that implementation report should be presented to the Prime Minister’s Office every six months.

“We thank and congratulate President Samia for his vision and commitment to be a leader in spearheading the use of clean energy in the country and on the African continent, and to lead tree planting campaigns on Mainland and Zanzibar,” he said.

On the other hand, the Vice-President directed councils in the country to make efforts to learn about opportunities and challenges in the carbon trade from councils that are doing well including Tanganyika, Karatu and Mbulu councils.

He instructed the VicePresident’s Office (Union and Environment), PORALG, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and Attorney General’s Office to review and complete the regulations and procedures governing the carbon trade in the country as soon as possible.

During the event, Dr Mpango launched a national guideline for tree planting and protection. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism conferred President Dr Samia with a special award in recognition of the work she has been doing in the conserving, a token that was handed over to the VP on her behalf.

The VP too was awarded in recognition of his best methods and strategies for the protection and conservation of the environment.

On her part, Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Angellah Kairuki said Tanzania has 48.1 million hectares of which 93 percent is covered by Miombo forests.

The area also takes on board plantation forests, mangroves and other coastal trees. She said that 469,000 hectares of forests per year have been disappearing due to human activities and natural disasters in the country.

Ms Angellah urged Tanzanians to plant five trees around their households to ensure they protect natural forests because forests means life.

According to her, the forestry sector contributes 3.5 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10 per cent to the employment of Tanzanians. This year’s theme for World Forest Day celebration, is ‘Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World”.

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