Sunday, November 22, 2009

The eagle in the chicken farm

There once was an environmentalist travelling through the countryside. One day he reached a farm with a lot of chickens in a small enclosure. When he got closer he was very shocked: Among the chickens he could clearly see an eagle walking around. And it was behaving just like a chicken.
The environmentalist was very upset, and looked around until he found the farmer. He then asked him why he had an eagle among his chickens. The farmer looked at him and couldn’t understand the question. – That is no eagle, he said. It is born and raised as a chicken, and as you can see, it behaves like a chicken. Then it is a chicken.
The environmentalist was quite shocked, and asked the farmer if he could test the eagle flying. The farmer just laughed at him, because obviously, the eagle couldn’t fly.
The environmentalist insisted, and so the farmer let him go and get the eagle-chicken and carry it out on his arm. But the bird was just very afraid, and if the environmentalist hadn’t had a thick leather piece around his arm, he would have been severely hurt. The eagle wouldn’t fly, and he had to let it back in.
- Just like I told you! That stupid creature is no eagle anymore. It cannot fly, because then it would have left long time ago, said the farmer with a smile on his face. But the environmentalist wouldn’t give up. He asked the farmer to try once more, maybe running with it around the farm, making it feel the wind in the feathers. The farmer just looked at him and couldn’t see any reason for it, but wouldn’t stop that strange environmentalist either. So the environmentalist got the bird and started running around the farm with it, feeling the strong grip in his arm. But no way, the bird wouldn’t let go.
The farmer thought that the environmentalist now would give up. But no, he wanted to try again. -Let me go to that hill behind the farm, he said, and then I am sure the eagle will fly. And the farmer couldn’t but let him try; he knew what would be the outcome and sat down to wait.
At the top of the hill the environmentalist lifted his arm with the eagle, showing it the mountains, the forests, the lakes and a river in the distance. They could also see the farm far below them. – Now, go, show him, and show us, you are an eagle and no chicken!
First the eagle took an even stronger grip around the man’s arm. But then it seemed he straightened his neck and looked around in a new way, like he was seeing the world for the first time. Then he carefully stretched out his wings, like he was discovering new parts of his own body. And when the environmentalist lifted him even higher, he all of a sudden let go of the arm and started flying. At first he would lose height, almost hitting the ground below them. But then his wings started working, lifting him higher and higher, carrying him high above the hills, the treetops and the mountains, disappearing from the sight of the environmentalist.
It would happen that the eagle would fly back to his chicken farm, even longing for the security and simplicity of the life behind the fence, where food and shelter was provided at all time. But still he knew that he actually was an eagle, born to fly high, to hunt for his own food and to live the free life he was created to live.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Once up on the time it happen a dangerous disease which have no medicine to cure it in a tortoise community, big population of tortoise dies, and many of them fall sick and some other became deaf, other lost their sense of sights e.t.c it was really threat disasters to the whole community, they search for medicine for a long time but they could find one, they pray to God and he answer tortoise prayer and show them the place in the forest where they can find the big and very tall tree which has blessed fruits which can cure the disease immediately,
Then all the tortoise were gathered under the tree which has blessed fruits, the fist tortoise start climb the tree, other tortoise begin to throwing shocking words to him so that it can lose hope and step down, they say “your not able to reach on the top” your just a tortoise.. Who told you that a tortoise can climb a tree...”” it is impossible for tortoise to climb a tree my dear, we all going to die because no tortoise can climb this tree and pick the bless fruit and save our lives!!! They say to him loudly. Poor tortoise loose hope and fail to climb and step down… The second one try to climb but he fail to go far because he listen those terrible words from other tortoises, then follow the third one... the fourth and the fifth but all didn’t manage to reach on top of tree because they loose courage and step down.. …….!!!!

But the last one who was very weak and very sick because of the disease move very slowly, start to climb slowly and all tortoise community suddenly laugh at him, and make same noise told him your so fun, they say “”oooh… poor sick little tortoise you better not even try to climb because your nothing but a looser you cant climb that tree!!! All strong tortoises fail to climb how could you??””” They continue to make noises but the little tortoise continue to climb slowly and he reach on top of tree, pick up bless fruits and eat, then pick many fruits for others too…
Finally he step down and all the tortoise surprise and asking him how he get there after all shocked words and noises from them?? He say ooh I didn’t heard anything from you because I was a deaf, after eat a bless fruits cured me and now I have the sense of hearing again!!! And all the communities’ member calls him a HERO!! TORTOISES CAN CLIMB A TREE. YES THEY CAN!!.

nginyi kimaai

REDD a new song to Tanzanians, majority being local communities.

In Tanzania and many other developing countries REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) has been a new song full of jargons, which does not give a meaning to the targeted audience. Out of 80% people live in rural area, less than 5% are aware of REDD in Swahili known as MKUHUMI ( Mpango wa Kupunguza Uzalishaji wa Hewa ya Ukaa kutokana na Ukataji miti ovyo na uharibifu wa Misitu)

Despite of majority of Tanzanians being unaware of other common environmental terms such as Climate Change, CDM and Kyoto Protocol, there comes other new term REDD. The question comes, is REDD a solution to emission problem from deforestation and forest degradation or confusion to peoples mind or adding more problem to their life? Is it going to be accepted by these local communities? What are the convincing reasons for its acceptance especially to local communities?

The term REDD has been new even to the educated individuals not only uneducated local people. Today if you ask a graduate what is REDD, about 90% will say they don’t know or have no idea. This reveals that the song of REDD is heard and understood by minority who are mostly officers at higher levels in the Government, private sectors, CSOs and policy makers.

If the song is about Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, and the major expected role players of it are the local communities who have been living with/close to the forests for more than 100 years, then how will it work out implementing something they are not familiar with? This means the local communities/indigenous people are the main responsible for either conserving or destroying the forests through their daily living activities. So making these indigenous people understand the concept of REDD is a big step forward toward achieving the goals of REDD.

If the initiatives for REDD will be taken in a non-participatory manner with the communities, there is a great danger of its failure or not achieving well. The participatory means should as well put clear the issue of benefit sharing to these local communities, which has been a debating issue to date. This means, convincing someone to opt for alternative means of living instead of exploiting from the forests such as doing small business that can generate some money for their daily basic needs and other compulsory expenditures.

Serious determination of communities towards REDD is an obligatory issue if it means for achieving its goals. I believe that the determination can only be through understanding well the whole process of REDD and community involvement by the local communities themselves.

A number of International and National conferences/workshops and seminars have been taking place as a preparation process for the 15th Conference Of Parties (COP 15) on December 2009 in Copenhagen sharing and discussing different matters, problems and challenges on Climate Change. The Conference is held every year under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to discuss some national and international environmental issues of concern relevant to climate change.

The question comes; do the local communities have information on what is taking place at higher level? Or does the feedback from the national and international conferences/workshops/seminars penetrate down to local communities? The truth is, only few officers at District level are at least aware of what is going on at the national and/or international level in Environmental aspect.

There comes a need for Young Environmental Trainees (YETs) who are young, energetic, experienced and determined to work with local communities. These should go to the communities directly conduct some trainings to raise awareness and updated them with current environmental issues discussed at both national and international levels that touch their lives. I believe YETs being young and energetic can work properly with communities than old officers who prefer to stay in the office rather than going to field where there is a need for their service.

YETs should be facilitated, enabled and /or capacitate enough to perform this job to link and fill the gap that exist between top and bottom people in our country. YETs are change agents.

victoria maeda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Jitihada za upandaji miti katika kijiji cha Mikumi zinazofanywa na asasi isiyo ya kiserikali ijulikananayo kama Greenbelt Schools Trust fund (GSTF) zimevamiwa na mbulumundu. Uvamizi huo mebainishwa wakati wa hughuli za usimamiaji na tathimini ambazo zimefanyika toka tarehe 4 hadi 6, Novemba, 2009 zilizofanywa na GSTF.

GSTF kupitia ufadhili wa shirika la kimataifa WWF kwa kusaidiana na wadau wengine imebaini kuwepo kwa changamoto kubwa inayopelekea kurudisha nyuma jitihada zinazofanywa na wanaharakati wa mazingira za uoteshaji wa miche ya miti ya aina mbalimabali ikiwemo jamii ya matunda kama vile michungwa malimao, miembe na mikwaju. Hatua hii imefuatia kutokana na kijiji hiyo kukumbwa na ukame na kupelekea shughuli za kiuzalishaji kushuka kwa kiwango kikubwa. Kwani asilimia 90% ya wakazi wa Mikumi hutegemea uzalishaji unaotokana na kilimo ilikujipatia kipato.

Katika kukabiliana na changamoto ya ukame, GSTF imeanzisha mradi wa upandaji miti kupitia kaya kwa kusaidiana na kamati za mazingira katika kijiji hicho. Hivyo katika hatua ya awali katika utekelezaji mradi, wanakamati walipewa mbegu ili wazioteshe.

Uvamizi wa mbulumundu umekuwa ukienda sambamba na jitihada za uoteshaji wa miche na kurudisha nyuma ukuaji wa miche hiyo.

Panzi hao wekundu wajulikanao kwa jina la Mbulumundu wamekuwa wakishambulia majani ya miche hasa majani laini yanayopatikana katika hatua za awali za uotaji wa miti. Bi Selina (mwanakamati) ameeleza akisema “Panzi hawa huwa wanahama wakiwa katika mamia au maelfu toka sehemu isio na mimea na kwenda sehemu inapoota mimea ilikujipatia chakula”. Ameendelea kueleza “… hii ni kutokana na ukame uliokithili uliosababishwa na kukauka kwa uoto wa asili hivyo mbulumundu wameamua kuvamia vitalu hivi’

Richa ya mbulumundu kushambulia vitaru vya miti, jitihada za uoteshaji miti zimezaa matunda. Kwani hivi sasa miche zaidi ya elfu moja (1000) imeoteshwa katika viriba, tayari kawa kuwasambazia wananchi ili waipande katika mvua za mwanzo.

GSTF kwa kushirikiana na wanakamati wa mazingira wamejipanga kupambana na mbulumundu kwa kuwatika mbegu nyingi za miti mara mvua za awali zitakaponyesha. Kwakuwa utafiti wa awali umeonesha kuwa panzi hao hufa kwa wingi kipindi cha mvua. Pia kuchipua kwa uoto wa asili kutapelekea panzi hao kwenda maeneo hayo na kutoa fulsa kwa mbegu za miti kuota vizuri katika vitalu na viriba.

Jitihada hizi zinafaa kuigwa na wadau mbalimbali , hasa katika masuala ya mazingira ilikukabiliana na mabadiliko ya tabia ya nchi yanayojitokeza hivisasa. Hasa katika katika kuwashirikisha wanajamii kupanda miti iliwamiliki misitu binafsi kwa matumi mbalimbali

Angelus Runji