Morogoro. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said it intended to support efforts towards ending the challenge of environmental degradation due to human economic activities in the country.
The efforts FAO seeks to support include providing alternative ways to the harmful economic activities.
The activities impacting negatively on the environment include charcoal making, tree felling for firewood, agriculture, fishing and livestock keeping.
Under the plan, a joint environmental protection programme will be financed by the Global Environment Fund (GEF-7) and supervised by FAO in cooperation with the Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.
FAO’s assistant representative (Progreammes) Charles Tulahi, speaking on Monday, November 19 in a discussion window organised by FAO over the project whose implementation would not have negative effects on agriculture, forests, natural resources, livestock and fisheries, said GEF had accepted to allocate funds to save natural forests including miombo woodlands that are currently under immense pressure in Tanzania to the extent of facing extinction.
Mr Turahi said GEF had realised that environmental degradation has started having negative effects on the natural forests in different parts of the country, particularly after the miombo forests started disappearing due to increased human activities including being felled for firewood and charcoal making.
Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) Agency acting executive director Zawadi Mbwambo said the destruction of the miombo forests was threatening to turn the country into a desert if urgent steps by stakeholders to control the situation would not be taken.
Ms Mbwambo gave the example of Shinyanga, Mwanza and Geita regions, where the miombo forests have disappeared a great deal causing a reduction of amount of rain in the Lake Zone regions.
Ms Mbwambo called for more efforts to protect the trees in other regions, saying TFS conducted an evaluation in forest areas and discovered that there were 48 million hectares of the mionbo trees that needed protection as the Agency was intending to support villages in protecting forests.