Tanga benefits from biodiversity conservation fund

THERE is a considerable improvement in the promotion of biodiversity conservation, applied research projects and community development in Tanga Region, thanks to the Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF).

As the region experiences more conservation activities as a result of EAMCEF support, the destruction of mountains is on a downward trend. The biological diversity, ecological functions and sustainable use of natural resources in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania is clear.

Tanga Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Zena Said noted that intruding natural forests that depended on rain and water in large areas had gone down drastically due to EAMCEF offering funds for alternative activities and energy sources.

She commended EAMCEF for supporting villagers living near different forests in the region, such as Amani Nature Reserve (ANR), Magamba Nature Forest Reserve (MNFR), Chome Nature Forest Reserve (CNFR) and others to promote biodiversity conservation and tourism.

“At least now we are relieved that human activities in our reserve forests have been controlled in different ways. In a special way it is through the support of EAMCEF that has all along been funding activities to have forests conserved.

They offer financial support in projects like poultry, beekeeping, energy saving stoves, agriculture, butterfly keeping and others,” said Ms Said. The RAS unveiled that people had encroached ANR water sources, looking for gold, leading to environmental destruction, thus reducing the volume and quality of water.

“After awareness raising and financial support they switched to other activities and now forests are thriving, bringing more optimism for the future.” She said the regional government also sensitised tree planting in different district council forests and open areas as well as control encroachment on forests and take legal action against the culprits.

EAMCEF Northern Zone Projects Officer, Magreth Victor said the fund wanted to see that Eastern Arc Mountains and people, who depended on them live in harmony as one sustainable ecosystem.

The forests and mountains provide goods and services-from water to electrical power, from food and cash crops to medicine-for the people of Tanzania. The world community will benefit from a protected biodiversity hotspot and a major carbon sink reducing global warming.

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