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TFS Launches Implementation of the Natural Forests Conservation Enhancement Project

Arusha: The Head of Olmotonyi Forestry College, Dr. Joseph Makero, inaugurated a Project Inception Workshop of experts today on the "Enhancing Resilience of Forests Biodiversity against the threats of Climate Change Impacts" project. This event took place on October 26, 2023, in Arusha.

The project is a collaboration between the Tanzanian Government - Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Tanzania Forestry Services Agency (TFS), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its primary goal is to build the resilience of forests biodiversity to the threats of climate change in Tanzania’s nature forest reserves.

During his opening remarks, Dr. Makero, who served as the guest of honor, emphasized the importance of building biodiversity resilience against the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Makero revealed that the six-year project, valued at $5.8 million USD, will be executed in Nine Forest Nature Reserves in Tanzania, including Mount Hanang, Nou, and Hasama in Manyara Region, Pindiro, Rondo in Lindi Region, Uzigua and Pugu Kazimzumbwi in Pwani Region, Essimingor in Arusha Region, and Mwambesi in Ruvuma Region.

"The meeting's purpose is to foster understanding among experts regarding the project's objectives and execution. This is a vital step toward the successful enhancement of Tanzania's natural forest biodiversity resilience," stated Dr. Makero.

To achieve these goals, Dr. Makero emphasized the importance of collaboration with stakeholders to promote eco-tourism and progress in biodiversity conservation and environmental resilience. He encouraged stakeholders to make the most of the opportunities presented, notwithstanding conservation challenges and climate change impacts.

On behalf of TFS Commissioner for Conservation, Prof. Dos Santos Silayo, Assistant Commissioner for Conservation, Zainabu Bungwa, recognized the successes of previous UNDP-Government projects, particularly in improving Nature Forest Reserves and increasing the number of tourists and revenue in the country. She pledged to efficiently oversee the project's implementation to achieve its intended goals.

Additionally, she expressed gratitude to UNDP, the President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), and the Office of the Vice President for their roles in facilitating this project. She confirmed that collaboration with UNDP in such projects had significantly improved natural environment and nature conservation in the country while boosting tourism, and increased revenue.

Amon Manyama, the Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP, noted that to attain the project's objectives, project stakeholders should make effective use of technology, especially social media, to reach a large youth and special interest groups, aligning with the current global context.

In his presentation about the project proposal, Someni Mteleka, the Project Coordinator, explained the project's origin, which is driven by perceived threats to forests from human activities and population growth. He also outlined key stakeholders in the project's execution, how it will be carried out, and how the intended goals and outcomes will be fully managed to ensure project success.