Friday, May 29, 2009


As global deliberations on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) continue, the Norwegian government has committed up to $600 million to the cause.

Tanzania was the very first country to sign a REDD contract with Norway recently. Its aim is to halve the current trend of deforestation through a national reward of one to two hundred million dollars annually.

JAN AJWANG interviewed Ivar Jorgensen, the counsellor on Environment and Climate Change at the Royal Norwegian Embassy on how REDD will work in reality for a country like Tanzania:

Many people may not know much about REDD, can you explain what it is about?

REDD means Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. This is a concept being discussed at the global Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

We hope the global Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December this year will agree that REDD will be part of the future global climate Change regime.

The key element of REDD will be a system for financial rewards to developing countries who manage to reduce their deforestation. Through REDD villagers can be paid for NOT cutting down trees!

Why is Norway the leading supporter of the REDD campaign?

Norway has a strong political commitment to support activities to help the world reduce the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming, as well as to help countries adapt to the consequences of climate change.

The Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg announced at the climate change conference in Bali in December 2007 that Norway was ready to support efforts to reduce deforestation by up to $600 million annually.

The reason for this commitment is the knowledge that emissions from deforestation contribute almost one fifth of all GHG emissions globally.

For Norway the efforts to support REDD will be additional to other programmes for emissions reduction, and will not substitute other programmes.

What progress has since been achieved and what has been the strategy?

Globally the progress is very good. Through support from Norway, the UN (UNDP, FAO and UNEP) has launched the UN–REDD programme and selected nine pilot countries, among which three are in Africa including DRC, Zambia and Tanzania.

Support from Norway has helped boost the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Bilateral initiatives have been launched in Brazil and Tanzania, and a number of other smaller programmes are being prepared in many countries.

REDD provides an opportunity to use standing trees as a cash crop, whereas today the income potential from trees starts only after chopping them down. For Tanzania, the strategy is to support a number of initiatives that will prepare the country for making use of the opportunities that will arise from REDD.

A core element of this process is to develop a national REDD strategy. This has already been initiated by a Task Force established by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and the Vice President’s Office.

Norway is supporting this process. Other activities being prepared are a major research and education programme for Climate Change and REDD; pilot testing of REDD in the communities, training and awareness raising, strengthening of monitoring and verification capacity and preparations for a fund management mechanism that would be able to handle REDD payments once they are available from the global Climate Change regime.

What is Norway vision for a post 2012-REDD regime and how realistic is it seeing that there is barely much commitment by developed countries towards achieving REDD (how can Norway get others on full board)?

There is continued deforestation and degradation going on and many forests are disappearing.

Our vision is a global REDD regime that reduces the deforestation around the world to a minimum. For this to happen we need an equitable system of payments to communities and forest owners who protect forests and change the trend of deforestation.

We also need an extensive process of capacity building and transfer of technology and development of monitoring capacity.

We also need to see the development of sound policies and national frameworks within which such a transfer of resources from the global community to the local forest community can take place.

This would be a kind of payment for ecosystem services (PES), and would constitute a contribution to a changed relationship between developing countries and the donor countries.

REDD would be a market where the rich countries and businesses would buy a service from a developed country, and this service would help reduce the GHG emissions and thereby reduce the level of warming.

We think that countries will jump to this opportunity as soon as they realise the potential that lies in REDD.

For Tanzania, a halving of the current trend of deforestation could, if such a payment mechanism was installed today, cause a national reward of one to two hundred million dollars annually!

Continued deforestation is taking place, and to check this trend, the REDD policy will only be one of the tools.

There will be a continued need to support good governance in the forestry sector, to strengthen the capacity of forest management institutions and central and local level, to continue the process of establishing Participatory Forest Management programmes, to support land use planning, etc.

Tanzania was the first country to sign a REDD partnership with Norway. Can you tell us more about this?

Tanzania and Norway have a longstanding relationship on forests and natural resource management. Tanzania was selected as a good example of a tropical country with strong deforestation, and with a dominance of dry forest.

A lot of attention in REDD goes to the rainforest countries, but we have to remember that 75 percent of all deforestation in Africa takes place in dry forests. In order to curb the problem, some of our piloting therefore needs to take place in such countries.

We find that the progress in the work of developing readiness for REDD is progressing well.

There is a strong commitment in government, research institutions and NGOs alike.

The process of developing a national REDD strategy is under way. With the additional support from UN REDD and the World Bank FCPF project, as well as other development partners, we think the stage is set for Tanzania to become a global front runner in REDD.

How will Norway’s efforts on REDD contribute towards achievement of the MDGs or development in general?

The big advantage of investment in REDD is that there are a number of co-benefits. Securing well-managed forests and reducing the deforestation will produce a number of benefits.

These will include economic benefits from forest products, environmental benefits from reduced erosion, protection of water sources, protection of biodiversity and even social benefits through increased community organisation.

All of these will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

What role does leadership/good governance have to play towards achieving REDD?

Good leadership will be of decisive importance for the success in REDD.

We know there isn`t good governance in all areas of forest management today, and that there is illegal logging and illegal charcoal burning going on.

Some of this can continue because officials are being paid to look the other way. So both good leadership and good governance are important.

We think the political leadership for REDD is coming out well in Tanzania, and the political leaders are very aware of what it takes of them to ensure the success of REDD.

The capacity to control the forest management and encourage forest protection still is insufficient, but we think REDD will be one additional tool to strengthen this capacity.

We also need the leadership of non-governmental organisations in creating the awareness and political pressure needed from the grassroots to ensure a swift introduction of improved forest policy adherence in the rural areas.

Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to say that Norway is proud to be a partner of Tanzania in the efforts to save the world’s forests.

We think REDD may be the start of an era of a different relationship between our two countries, where equal partnerships gradually takes over from development aid.

We see this coming in business, in research, in cultural ties and now also in payment for ecosystem services. REDD will be an opportunity to be paid for a service that the world desperately needs, and developing countries hold the key to delivery of that service.
By Jan Ajwang
26th May 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Like many other elegant areas of environmental significance in Tanzania, Pugu Forest is one among such areas being severely undermined by human activities leaving the area destructively unbecoming. This forest area has been invaded by a group of small aggregates miners who illegally and unsustainably excavate the land to get aggregates as the major income generating undertaking. The aggregates excavated are sold to builders in the nearby suburbs.
A group of Young Environmentalist Trainees (YETs) under WWF-TPO had visited the area on 13th May, 2009 to see the contemporary situation on the area. Despite the visit being not prior informed to the miners the YETs were friendly welcomed by their host (small miners) with high degree of cooperation and openness ready to respond to any question imposed to them even when the questions looked conflicting with their interests. The response to the questions as to why they remorseless degrade the environment in the forest area was that, the area is their office to win for their daily bread, thus after selling the aggregates they are able to meet their daily household basic needs including sending kids to school, to them the area is their life. They said that any attempt to evict them from that area is as to detach the infant from its mothers’ breast feed of which they are not willing to easily yield in. They said out of a long time involvement to such activities on the area, itt has been the major source of income they entirely depend.
Until then, the miners were in conflict with the district council after when the council had issued a statement that prohibits aggregate mining in the forest area. However the miners have been claimants demanding to have rights to mine aggregates on the site.
The district council has tried to use the police force to subdue the miners but unfortunately the police prove fiasco as the miners always scarper when they see the police force advancing to their mines. I could not have an opportunity to talk to the district authority with regards to this issue but information from non-aligned source that preferred anonymity said that, the issue has been going awry due to conflict of interests between political will and administive authority. The miners feel marginalized and not considered in decision making not given a chance to express their interest but rather to adhere to the government bureaucracy and orders. At first the government scoffed at the miners but as the situation has persistently becoming aggravated the government sought to seek for solutions. The government has prepared a new area for such activities to be carried out, but the small miners are still reluctant to shift to the new area, however a lot of controversies arise with this alternative as the small miners blame the government that the new area is very far from their customers, moreover remote with rough impassable roads, they fear that this would make them loose their customers and suffer consequently.
With all these stories going on still Pugu forest is put into great pearl with illegal mining. I am not very sure whether the government has unconditionally relented and let the miners carry on with this obnoxious undertaking depleting the forest or else irrespective of the imperative immediate pragmatic actions to save the forest from this mess. The miners have inexorably sweared to persue with their business despite knowing it to be destructive, illegal and devastating unless the consensus is reached.
Such sweltering havocs to natural resources face many places in Tanzania Pugu forest being a very small entity of representative. I presume poverty to be the epicenter of such problems on environment, poverty makes people turn to the natural resources as a soft target to save for their daily bread. As for Pugu forest the constellation of aggregate miners is more or less a clique of uneducated, poor, unemployed people who depend entirely to aggregate selling for their livelihood earnings.
With this devastating story I still remain optimistic that both government and other stakeholders as for aggregate miners can merge for round table discussion reaching to win-win unundertroden satisfaction that enhance both community economic development and environmental conservation.

Tomas Chali


Pugu forest with an area of 2410 hectares is located 32 kilometers west of Dar es Salaam city. This forest was gazzeted as a Forest reserve since 1947 according to National Forest Act page number 132. Pugu forest is endowed with tree species known in vernacular name Mpugupugu that form the source of the name of Pugu forest and the name of Pugu secondary school. Currently the forest is under threat of degradation due to tree cutting, charcoal burning and gravel mining taking place in the forest.

On 13th May 2009 Young Environmentalist Trainees from WWF Tanzania Programme Office, visited the forest to realize the condition of the forest in relation to the threats it faces. In conversation with Vijana Vision Tanzanian organization that is dealing with environmental conservation located in Kisarawe and the gravel miners in the forest they told us that the source of gravel mining in Pugu forest was the sand miners who mined sand from the area for the purpose of road construction. According to them, the government permitted the road constructors mining activities at the area. After they had done with their sand mining activities they did not restore the area to its normal condition. The left mining hole attracted gravel miners who invaded the area for commercial gravel mining in fight of poverty that is facing them.

Currently after the government has realized the destruction of Pugu forest as a result of sand and gravel mining, it is in the process of removing the gravel miners by reallocating them to another area. The question to be asked here is that, how comes now that the government see the gravel miners as degraders of the forest? Does it mean that the government was blind of this threat to the forest when it allowed sand miners? Or was it poor understanding of the interaction of infrastructure development and carbon rich forest ecosystem that is frequently articulated in very general term because of being critical to national economic growth hence undermining protection and conservation of forest resources? According to the settings surrounding this problem, it seems as if the activity was contrary to section 18(1) of Environmental Management Act number 20 of 2004 that require an Environmental Impact Assessment for any activity that go contrary to the nature of any particular area. According to section 102(1) of this act any developer or some one undertaking any activity that go contrary to the nature of the area should restore the environmental of that area after ending his or her activity on that area. This involves the removal of all equipments used, rehabilitation of the area and restoration of an ecological system that used to exist before the activity has taken place. But this was not done as after sand miners had left the place, the area were not restored that led the left holes to attract gravel miners who are current working at the area.

Once we are now pointing fingers to gravel miners as Pugu forest degraders, the government should also be responsible in implementation of different Regulations, Laws and Programmes that guide the management and conservation of environmental and natural resource in general. If the government will not be the leader in implementation and adhering to its laws and regulations, it will be difficulty for the local people in communal areas to do the same as most of them either do not know these regulations or they might have heard of them but without them. Accountability of the natural resource officers and other relevant officers in management of natural resource and protection of environment will ease the whole task of environment protection and natural resource management as far as participatory natural resource management is concern. People living adjacent to Pugu forest continuing blaming the government for unsatisfied management of Pugu forest, will hinder the process of management of this forest by taking into consideration that we are in the participatory management paradigm.

Apart from gravel mining that threatens the survival of Pugu forest, this forest is also threatened by an alarming escalating tree cutting and charcoal burning that has come into place after the expansion of charcoal market in Dar es Salaam city. According to Mr. Obedi Mahenda, the director of Vijana Vision Tanzania, Kisarawe Village in their effort to rescue Pugu Forest through its Chairman Mr. Ally Said Mwiru had requested the government by writing to Kisarawe District Council to manage Pugu Forest in the last three years as stipulated in the National Forest Policy on participatory Forest Management by following all obligations guiding PFM but they could not get an answer from the higher authority. He said after contacting the District officer responsible with management of Forest and Natural resources, the officer told him that they forwarded the letter to the ministry but the ministry has failed to allow it due to cost benefit sharing conflict that is existing between the government and the one who will be managing the forest, here I mean the village governments adjacent to Pugu forest.

I would like to advice that let us use the existing opportunity of community readiness in management of natural resource and environmental in general since if the community is not ready, the management of natural resource will be difficulty to push it through. The readiness of Kisarawe community in management of Pugu Forest is a great opportunity to use in participatory Pugu forest management that will rescue the forest from all threats it faces. Also in the process of reallocating the gravel miners I advice the government to harmonies the situation by having a consensus of all stakeholders in order to avoid conflicts that my lead to breakage of peace at the area and environment destruction that we all aim at conserving. In this I also argue to the government, its organizations and non-governmental organization dealing with environmental conservation to let people know what to do in order to protect their environment and manage well their natural resource. “If we all join our effort we can protect our environment and manage well our natural resource for our development without compromising the future development needs”

William Nambiza


Kisarawe District is affected by severe Environmental degradation caused by sand miners which leads to the disappearance of several forest species and leaving the area open with no cover and causing the occurrence of big holes. Now the area is open even though few years ago were green and covered with different species of trees.

Sand miners are saying that they are right as they are selling the sands mined and they are getting their basic needs but real the environment is crying as now is almost necked with no trees and grasses at this Pugu sand mining area. Due to this situation who is to be blamed now is the sand miner or any one else?

Governance at this are it seems is not good, as the degradation is still going on and no immediate measures has been taken to protect the ongoing degradation, now where is the government, where is the village Environmental committee. Does it mean that they have not real seen what is going on at the area? I think there is something behind all these.

Let us find solution for the problem so that we can prevent other areas to be destroyed like the one. Let us encourage the sand miners to stick on other income generating activities which are friendly to the environment like beekeeping, farming activities, poultry keeping and other related activities.

Let us not destroy our nature for the satisfaction of today need and forgetting that tomorrow is coming, where the coming generation will get their needs if the ongoing degradation will not be avoided immediate for the sake of our present and future generation, each one must play his/her party to insure the sustainability of our resources.

Joyneth Mbogo,


Lack of accountability and non-incorporated governance at Kisalawe district lead to severe deforestation at Pugu forest. The current situation is more caused by sand miners who are highly engaging in wearing out pieces of stones and sell them so as to acquire money as part of their livelihood.

What we expert our government to do is to have sustainable development strategies and involving all it citizens to implement those strategies. But the situation that happens at Pugu forest create questions into mind that does the government consider the need to protect and conserve natural resources for current sustainable use and future generation as well?

Following the soil degradation that is happening in Pugu, historically in 1990s the area was having densely forests. Unfortunately the government itself was the one that initiated the digging of the sand to repair roads where excavators were imported to do the activity. But after the same came at the end, no rehabilitation done to area.

Rehabilitation could be one of the better solutions to avoid going on degradation. This could be done by living an area take vegetation cover and introducing planting trees campaign.

Also lack or narrow education on environmental issues and forest prospective, due to poor governance on equal participation of stakeholders at Kisalawe district so as to take revenant measures to rescue the area. Equal participation insures understanding on every stakeholder role to protect the area. Hence education can be a better tool for creating awareness to all stakeholders around the Kisalawe district, and mostly to sand minors.

Awareness creation makes a stakeholder to understand the sustainable use of the resources which is out of deforestation and soil degradation rather than usefulness that does not harm environment/forest like cutting firewood at law rate and replacing/planting other trees at high rate.

Hereby I suggest that the government should take appropriate measures to rescue the Pugu forest out from ongoing degradation. Through educating those sand miners on the importance of preserving that area. Also other stakeholders should be integrated to participate on serving the area like CSOs/NGOs for instance Vijana Vision Tanzania (VVT) which is found within Kisalawe District.

Angelus Runji

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tanzania has abundance of wealth(Natural Resources),that includes wildlife, forestry, precious minerals, sunshine, large water bodies for ports and diverse of fish species. Despite that, Tanzania is ranked to be among the world class poorest countries, hence frequently prone to high infant and maternal mortalities, subsistence agriculture i.e. hand to mouth, poor infrastructure network, about 90% of its citizens use traditional energy resources based on bio-fuel that put the forestry resources in great peril, three quarters of its budget is dependent, only few children enrolled for primary education successfully complete. Above all, most of its citizens especially in rural areas are overwhelmed by impoverished life situation.

Many leaders when subjected to questions as to why Tanzania is poor in spite of its vast wealth in Natural Resources, they always end up saying because it was colonized. Surely this is not the feasible answer to that question because even before colonization the resources were present and still poverty predominated its societies.

The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Hon: John Lomoy said that Tanzania is running poor because of its irresponsible leaders who lack spirit of patriotism for their country, thus use positions entitled to them for their own purposes; also Tanzania has marginally developed the civil society sector that would help to ensure that good policies are formulated and implemented. He suggested that the country needs a balanced solution that would help Tanzania to alleviate its pity impoverished conditions, he said that people should wake up and reject the myth of their generation’s apathy by putting into powers a strong government with good policies and laws that would collect tax effectively, impose modern technologies through internal and external investment, then the citizens should develop strong civil society organizations that would act as watchdogs when the government and private sectors fall apart from policies and laws of the territory. He concluded by saying that, development is all about making difficult choices for better decisions that come out of open discussions among the government, private sectors and civil societies with solutions that last for undiminished future prosperity of the country.

Tomas Chali.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Fisheries represent a significant source of revenue and foreign exchange & sustain livelihoods in the form of food, security, employment &for poor people.
The main challenges which faces fisheries sector are small contribution to national GDP where marine fisheries contribute very little compare to its size & resources it contains.
Unsustainable utilization of natural resources which includes illegal fishing where there is large number of unregistered fishing ship and others use dynamite/bombs or poison to catch fish which pose large loss of species & disturb marine ecosystem.
Unequal distribution of benefit where communities benefit small percent of total revenue collected from fisheries.
Other challenges are Poor/inadequate regulation and control of fishing such as licensing system in marine where they pay less compare to what they get.
Government , CSO’s & other stakeholder should its play part to improve the contribution of fisheries sector to the national GDP and to ensure that the natural resources is utilized sustainable and facilitate development. Other measures to be taken are to establish an appropriate regulatory framework & control to promote participation of civil society in development and implementation of policy and program.
heri Jackson


The Issue of exploitation of natural resources unsustainably it’s happen in many sector such as in forestry where there is a large number of logs are being exported to Asia & other continents. In fisheries sector where there is a large number of unregistered fishing ship in our Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ).so its time for us as community to influence the government to take action & to use our natural resources sustainable to facilitate development and living standard.

The main issue which causes natural resources to contribute small percent to GDP is poor governance and policy we have in all sector and the corruption.

In order to solve this problem we need government leaders who are committed, transparent and patriotic/nationalistic. Also we have to reveal our policy so that we can benefit more from our natural resources. This action should star from personal level to national level so as to bring changes in all sectors.

Moreover the civil society organization(CSO’s) and other stakeholder should also play their role as watchdog by mobilizing community to take action on this issues and to facilitate government to manage our natural resources as result to increase the contribution of this sectors to the national GDP.

Heri Jackson