Tz for­est re­sources gen­er­ate $2.2bn

East African Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY TI­MOTHY KITUNDU

DAR ES SALAAM, TAN­ZA­NIA – The gov­ern­ment week re­vealed that the com­bined an­nual value of the country’s for­est goods and ser­vices is es­ti­mated at $2.2 bil­lion (Tsh.4.84 tril­lion) which is equiv­a­lent to 20.1% of the Gross do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP).

The sec­tor’s con­tri­bu­tion to the econ­omy is in­creas­ing at a very fast rate due to in­creas­ing de­mand for for­est goods and ser­vices, macro­eco­nomics changes and glob­al­i­sa­tion. The sec­tor is es­ti­mated to pro­vide about 3 mil­lion per­son-years of em­ploy­ment.

This was re­vealed by Prof. Ju- manne Maghembe, Tan­za­nia’s Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Tourism at the oc­ca­sion of of­fi­cial open­ing of the con­fer­ence on for­est plan­ta­tion in­vest­ment or­gan­ised jointly by the min­istry, UONGOZI In­sti­tute and FINFUND held at the Re­gency Hy­att Kil­i­man­jaro ho­tel.

“Ac­cord­ing to data re­leased in 2014 by the Na­tional For­est Re­sources Mon­i­tor­ing and As­sess­ment, Tan­za­nia pos­sesses about 48 mil­lion hectares of forests and miombo wood­lands, of which about 17 mil­lion hectares (35%) are man­aged as Na­tional and Lo­cal Au­thor­ity For­est Re­serves, in­clud­ing about 4 mil­lion hectares of Vil­lage Land For­est Re­serves,” Maghembe said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, un­for­tu­nately, the re­main­ing 31 mil­lion hectares (65%) of for­est re­sources mostly on vil­lage and gen­eral lands are with­out le­gal pro­tec­tion and gen­er­ally cat­e­go­rized as open ac­cess regimes, and it is in this cat­e­gory where var­i­ous hu­man are tak­ing place lead­ing to wide­spread de­for­esta­tion and for­est degra­da­tion.

He said since the forests and wood­lands are un­der heavy pres­sure, Tan­za­nia is los­ing about 100,000 hectares due to de­for­esta­tion and an­other 300,000 hectares se­verely de­graded an­nu­ally; sim­i­larly cli­mate change im­pacts are also con­tribut­ing to the chal­lenge. Fin­land re­mains com­mit­ted to work­ing in Tan­za­nia’s forestry sec­tor, Fin­ish Min­is­ter for For­eign Trade and Devel­op­ment Mr. Kai Mykkä­nen said at the event.

“Our co­op­er­a­tion has lasted for over 40 years, but dur­ing the years we have shifted em­pha­sis to­wards sup­port­ing the pri­vate sec­tor and value chains, both in plan­ta­tion forestry and nat­u­ral for­est man­age­ment and util­i­sa­tion,’’ he said.

Mykkä­nen ex­plained that the co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Fin­land and Tan­za­nia in the forestry sec­tor is unique in its length and con­tent, and that the Tan­za­nian’s Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Tourism, Tan­za­nian For­est Ser­vice (TFS), the Civil So­ci­ety as well as other for­est stake­hold­ers have been Fin­ish long–term part­ners in sus­tain­able forestry devel­op­ment.

UONGOZI In­sti­tute Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) Prof. Joseph Sem­boja said the con­fer­ence that drew par­tic­i­pants from 16 coun­tries had the pur­pose to de­lib­er­ate on the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the forestry in­dus­try, and that the meet­ing also aimed at dis­cussing how to pro­mote com­mer­cial forestry plan­ta­tion in Tan­za­nia.

“Many pri­vate sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives have ar­rived at this con­fer­ence from all over Africa and the world and they will have enough time to ex­plore business op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­vest on long-term,’’ Sem­boja said.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the New Forests Com­pany Mr. Ju­lian Ozanne called on the Tan­za­nian gov­ern­ment to im­prove gov­er­nance and business cli­mate. “For the forestry in­dus­try to pros­per in the country, we should have a level play­ing field,’’ he main­tained.

NICE: The com­pany says all the yo­ghurt is pro­cessed with nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and is tested in the fac­tory lab be­fore it is pack­aged.

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