Tanzania: National Forest Policy
The aim of the policy is to enhance the contribution of the forest sector to the sustainable development of Tanzania and the conservation and management of her natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. This goal is to be realized through effective management of forest area, conservation of forest biodiversity, water cachments and soil fertility, enahncing national capacity to manage and develop the forest sector in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The policy encourages community and private sector involvement in forest management through village land forest reserves, individual, group and community forests. This helps to enhance conservation of forests by reducing illegal use of the resources. The policy does not explicitly mention climate change issues and it has been revised to take into consideration significant changes and climate change issues which have occurred since it was enacted in 1998.
The revision is waiting for government approval. Some of the challenges identified in the policy in achieving a sustainable forest management regime include wild fires that occur annually, unclear boundaries, lack of including economic and environmental values of forests in product pricing and royalties and uncontrolled settlement in forest plantations. The strategies that the policy sets out to address the identified challenges include involving all stakeholders (including local and indigenous peoples) in management systems, demarcation of forest reserves, devising mechanisms to ensure equitable sharing of benefits and leasing out forest reserves to private investors. The identified challenges and strategies to address them have implications for REDD programs, either directly or indirectly, which should not be lost sight of in the early and advance stages in implementing the programs.