Better forest management campain gets cash boost
Dar es Salaam. The campaign to improve forest governance in the country yesterday got a major boost as Finland and Norway contributed a $ 5,060,000 towards the second phase of Mama Misitu campaign.
The second phase which will take off this year to 2016, is expected to improve transparency and accountability in the forestry sector and reduce illegal harvesting of forests.
The campaign would be build on public, private and non-governmental partnerships and networks related to sustainable use of forests and timber products.
The aim is also to promote participatory forest management processes through the campaign, so that communities can increase their rights over land and forests and strengthen their capacity to sustainably manage their forests.
Speaking at the signing of the agreements between the two countries and the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Sinikka Antila, said forests are recognised for their importance in addressing climate change.
The campaign will be coordinated by TNRF, and is a true coalition effort, with 18 implementing NGOs, including those working with communities in the 8 districts.
She added that Tanzania is part of international efforts to reward countries that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), and Mama Misitu therefore contribute towards the country’s efforts to prepare for REDD.
“The campaign will empower communities to understand the economic value of forest so that they can demand their rights on timber and forest chain and receive direct, equitable benefits from their forests” she said.
The ambassador also noted that forest and land are important resources for the lives and livelihoods of all, thus individuals should work together with public, private and non-governmental actors to strengthen the sustainable use of forests and land.
Mama Misitu will work in 8 districts, but there would also be a focus on national-level engagement, where the campaign hopes to raise public awareness on the value of forests and their sustainable management to the nation.
Ms Anne Kristin Hermansen, deputy head of Mission, Norwegian embassy on her part observed that there was need for the private sector to be fully involved in the campaign for effectiveness.
Carol Sorensen, Coordinator of the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum, said Phase two of Mama Misitu would not only allow the organisation to carry on with the great work began in phase one, but it also provides an opportunity to evaluate the challenges, successes and lessons from phase one.
She promised to ensure transparency on how funds would be spent and ensure good results, saying “We will ensure transparency create public awareness in effort to strengthen accountability”