Activists tout forest monitoring system for eco maintenance

07Feb 2016
Guardian On Sunday
Activists tout forest monitoring system for eco maintenance

ENVIRONMENTALISTS in the country have underscored the need to establish a forest monitoring system to maintain the ecosystem.

Dr Felician Kilahama

Former director of Forestry in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Felician Kilahama told The Guardian on Sunday recently that eco activists had a special role in conserving and restoring biodiversity of forests.“It is the role of stakeholders to ensure they apply ecologically sound harvesting principles in managing forests,” he said.He added: “Such a system would prevent the nation from losing revenue in the country where 372,816 hactares have been lost during the past 15 years since 1995”.According to him, if the financial sustainability of natural forest management was not assessed, deforestation impacts were likely to double.Dr Kilahama also said that low investment in natural forest management, combined with a low revenue capture rate from natural forests, resulted in a vicious circle that directly contributed to deforestation and forest degradation,” he added.He said the government would have lost USD 171 million between 2013 and 2023 from deforestation and degradation.Prof Pantaleo Munishi from Sokoine University of Agriculture pointed out that the Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) has been in place for a very long time but was not being implemented effectively.Payment Arrangements for Watershed Ecosystem Services (PWES) was yet to show results, he added.“We need to go forward with real examples about how this can work; and how it can properly be incorporated in the reserve management plans,” he said.He explained that efforts should be undertaken to streamline revenue collection at all levels, for example from the village to the central government.Prof Mushi said the absence of management plans meant that management was not oriented to maintaining ecosystem services.He explained that in the inventory there was a minimum diameter of trees that could be harvested.