Arusha — THE government plans to subsidize domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices in order to make the commodity affordable to the majority.
The Director of the Environment Division in the Prime Minister's Office, Dr Julius Ningu, said on Monday that the government was now planning to introduce as well as promote alternative sources of domestic fuel as a measure to reduce deforestation, resulting from high demand of firewood and charcoal.
"LPG is a clean source of domestic fuel which can replace charcoal and firewood and save the environment as well as reduce our carbon footprint," said Dr Ningu adding that gas prices are what scares people.
"The problem with LPG is that, it is a petroleum product whose prices are determined the escalating global fuel prices," said Dr Ningu adding that the state was now working to see the possibility of cutting down domestic gas pricing through subsidizing.
Over 400,000 hectares of forests disappear every year due to tree felling. The logs are used to produce charcoal and firewood. They are also used in house construction, furniture and car body building.
Dr Ningu was speaking during the ongoing meeting of the Group of Earth Observations (GEO) Forest Carbon Tracking (FCT) and annual Science Data Summit, at the Arusha International Conference Centre. Dr Giovanni Rum, representing the intergovernmental organisations said the focus of the meeting was to demonstrate how GEO-FCT could provide support to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) initiatives, and the development of national monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems that are based on integrated use of satellite and ground data.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ezekiel Maige, in a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary, Ms Maimuna Tarishi, revealed that Tanzania has already launched the National Forest Monitoring and Assessment (NAFORMA) project.
"NAFORMA works to facilitate estimation of carbon stored in forests and trees outside forests and how effectively they can be monitored," she said.
According to the PS, NAFORMA data, both bio-physical and socio-economic are planned to be used in supporting sustainable forest management and REDD as well as MRV activities. "These scientific and credible data will be used in policy review and development of management directives," said the PS.