TFS plans to restore 5.2 million hectares of forests by 2030

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Forestry Services Agency (TFS) is implementing plans which aims at ensuring restoration of 5.2 million hectares of forests by 2030 as a commitment the country made during a prominent continental meeting known as AFR100.

TFA Chief Executive Officer, Prof Dosantos Silayo told journalists in Dar es Salaam recently that the undertaking is one of TFS’s top priorities.

‚ÄúIn June this year Tanzania will host AFRI100 and during the meeting we are supposed, as a country, to report on the progress made in this promise we made during the last meeting,‚ÄĚ said Prof Silayo.

The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative ‚Äď abbreviated AFR100 – is a country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030.

The partnership involves African nations, financial interests both donor and business, technical organizations and local interests which aims to restore more than 100 million hectares of land in Africa by 2030.

The target is to have these efforts lead to increased food security, combat poverty and reduce the impacts of climate change within the continent.

It is also part of the global Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

At least 34 African countries have committed to undertake this responsibility, according to AFR100 website.

According to Prof Silayo, TFS has charted out a number of strategies to ensure that Tanzania meets the target it has set for itself.

‚ÄúAnd we (the government) are not doing this alone. We have engaged other partners from the private sector and the communities,‚ÄĚ he said.

One of the plans employed by TFS to reach this goal is Greening Dodoma project which involves turning Dodoma into a green city.

Tree seedlings preparation is part of forest restoration programme

Under this initiative, Prof Silayo noted, a total of 2,792,200 tree seedlings were planted in area covering 6,175 hectares within the capital city. He also noted that various types of grass were also planted notably in areas designated as public gardens.

TFS has also distributed a total of tree seedlings worth Sh12.47 billion to communities, as part of strategy to promote forest restoration programmes.

The Agency also supported construction of infrastructures in villages bordering reserved and protected forests to the tune of ShSh1.63 billion.

‚ÄúIn addition to public education and awareness on the importance of forests this helped the villagers to actively participate in forests restoration,‚ÄĚ said Prof Silayo.

Other projects

In the past three years in which President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been on the helm, TFS boasts of participating in a number of exemplary and strategic projects engineered by the government.

Among them is construction of Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) in which TFS teamed up with Tanzania People Defense Forces (TPDF) to clear the project area.

‚ÄúAfter it was realized that the contractor who was given the task of clearing the project area was lagging the government decided to task us together with TPDF to undertake the work,‚ÄĚ said Prof Silayo.

The work involved cutting of trees in and around the project area. A private firm which was given the work proved to be incompetent as after year of operation he managed to clear only 4,700 hectares out of more than one million hectares which were supposed to be cleared.

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