In commemoration of Earth Day 2012, US Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt recently visited Kigoma region to survey the Landscape Scale Community-Centred Ecosystem Conservation in Western Tanzania project.
According to a statement availed to The Guardian, with support from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by The Jane Goodall Institute, the project seeks to boost rural household incomes in the region while incorporating environmental conservation techniques.
The project also seeks to expand land under improved natural resource management.
It said on Wednesday Ambassador Lenhardt met Kalinzi village residents who had benefited from economic growth through environment-friendly coffee production and visited a local growers’ coffee cooperative.
USAID supports coffee husbandry and marketing for the coffee producers. Buyers of the coffee from this cooperative include Starbucks and other international coffee companies.
The statement further said the coffee processed in Kalinzi had won numerous prizes and was considered the best coffee in Tanzania.
Ambassador Lenhardt also visited a tree planting regeneration effort supported by the USAID-funded project to address deforestation and soil erosion in the area.
The project promotes fast-growing tree species to regenerate the landscape while providing village residents with a ready source of firewood in lieu of cutting firewood from the protected forest and helps maintain the ecosystem in Gombe Park and the chimpanzee habitat.
Ambassador Lenhardt joined local residents in planting a tree at the Kalinzi ward oOffice in celebration of this year's Earth Day.
The ambassador observed that the area households were now using low-cost stoves introduced by the project.
As Tanzanian families and communities are highly dependent on natural resources for social and economic development, the American people are happy to support sustainable management of these resources for achieving equitable economic growth that benefits rural communities in the country, the statement said.