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President Kikwete blames ministry department for degrading forests

6th March 2012
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President Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete has accused the Department of Natural Resources in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism of degrading forests through issuance of permits to loggers.

He sounded the blame at the State Lodge here when responding to a regional development report read to him by Kilimanjaro regional commissioner Leonidas Gama.

The report, among other things, highlighted the challenge of deforestation and efforts being taken to curb it.

The strategies include suspension of issuing permits for harvesting, using and transporting natural forest products.

Gama said the government had been working hard to curb the problem, but a few unfaithful natural resources officers “continue to issue permits” to loggers despite a ban imposed by a local authority.

In his response, Kikwete directed regional leaders to collaborate with politicians by explaining to them their plans and strategies of forest conservation so that they could deliver the message correctly.

“There has been a problem for experts to have good plans, but politicians are not involved effectively, as a result they fail to talk about and support the plans to their electorate,” he said.

Kikwete also directed local authorities to deal with forestry officers who issue illegal permits to loggers.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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