Speaking to journalists on Monday, Northern Zone Acting TFS Manager, Edward Shilogile said anyone interested in harvesting forest resources should follow procedures and acquire permit from relevant authorities.
He said the random harvest of forest resources including traditional tree species have dried water sources and caused environmental degradations.
Shilogile appealed to the community to work closely with TFS by taking part in conserving the environment and forest resources.
Kilimanjaro regional forest officer, Emmanuel Kiyengi said they have enhanced security in forest areas with the aim of ensuring that trees are not cut down before they mature.
“It takes so many years for a traditional tree to mature, we will not allow anyone to harvest them prematurely,” he said.
Kiyengo noted that the government has banned selling of tree harvesting machines, insisting anyone who will be found with it will be apprehended.
“Some tree species such as ‘Mkufi’ were planted in the past 100 years, we will not tolerate any person attempting to destroy them,” he said adding that environmental degradation is very high in Kilimanjaro Region.
He appealed to the police force to work closely with forest officers to ensure security in the forests and reserved areas.
Launching the national tree planting campaign in December last year, Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan said the campaign aimed at rescuing the country from the risk of becoming a desert.
She blamed local government authorities for failure to keep the national tree planting campaign alive, saying the country risk becoming a desert if no action is taken.
She argued that records showed that at least 61 percent of the country is likely to become a desert and called on the councils and municipal authorities to come up with by-laws to ensure schools, universities and other institutions plant trees annually.
The government first launched tree planting campaign in the 1970s and later in the 2000s to ensure every council plant at least 1.5 million trees annually. However, the Vice President said the plan was not effectively being implemented.