Lack of forest officers in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has been cited as a key factor hindering operations of the Tanzania Forest Service Agency in terms of forest management and conservation.
This was revealed yesterday by Khamis Kagasheki Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism at the launch of the new advisory board of the Tanzania Forest Service Agency in Dar es Salaam.
He said currently TFS has very few forest officers compared to the forest areas that need to be supervised.
“Tanzania has about 33.5 million hectares of forests whereas 15.3 million hectares have been gazetted as forest reserves in different parts of the country”, he noted.
According to him, TFS is now supervising 15 forest farms that have 85,000 hectares of forest reserve, adding that the remaining 18.2 hectares of forest is not preserved legally.
He said the ministry has a total of 1756 forest officers while the demand is 2600.
The minister also called upon TFS staff to work closely with the new board to facilitate forest management development and beekeeping sector in order to increase the government’s revenue collections, royalty, exports and tourism earnings.
He urged them to come up with new strategies to control human activities in the following forest reserves, Geita, Biharamulo, Mlele hills, Pugu, Kazi Mzumbwi, Ruvu and Mbeya which are the main forests that have been affected by those activities.
The core functions of the new TFS’s advisory board would be to supervise the main goal of the Tanzania Forest service Agency, monitoring and evaluating the performance, prepare strategic work plans and budget from the chief executive. Meanwhile Esther Mkwizu the new chairman of the TFS advisory board thanked the minister and other people for nominating her to take over the position.
She promised to work collaboratively with TFS’s staff to meet the targeted activities. She said they will work with accordance to the guidance of the forest and beekeeping policies.
Apart from Mkwizu, Juma Mgoo, TFS’s chief executive officer, was chosen the board secretary.
Others are Prof Yonika Ngaga from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Prof Hamud Majamba from University of Dar es salaam, Rawson Yonazi, Eng Bonaventura Baya from National Environment Management Council AND Gladness Mkamba, assistant director in the forestry and beekeeping department.