The commitment is part of the agreement met by African countries to join the global efforts known as ‘Bonn Challenge’ for restoration of 100 million hectares of forest by 2030.
Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
Announcing the declaration yesterday at Kazimzumbwi forest reserve located at Kisarawe District in Coast Region during the launch of African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiatives (AFR100) deputy minister for natural resources and tourism Japhet Hasunga said the initiative will help the country to restore the ecological system that was damaged by human activities.
He said through the commitment, it means the country will be able to protect about 5.2million hectares of forest in the mainland and 25,190 hectares of forest in Zanzibar by 2030.
“Tanzania will now become the 23 country to declare the commitment on forest restoration and compliment the global initiatives,” minister added.
The recent data issued by the National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC) shows that Tanzania is losing approximate of 470,000 per year from human activities that take place in the forests.
Hasunga said the restoration efforts in the country is coordinated by the Tanzania Forest Services Agency and supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other stakeholders.
Chief executive officer for Tanzania Forest Services Dos Santos Silayo said the effort is focusing on restoring the lost ecology to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty.
“The strategy will facilitate effective implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) number 13 that speaks about climate action and 15 about life on land in Tanzania,” he said.
He added that restoration strategy was agreed in the 14th forest meeting held in 2015 South Africa that saw the challenge in the forest losses and launched the strategy.
The record shows that Africa continent is losing 8 million hectares of forest per year.
He said the Tanzania Forest Services Agency has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WWF to work together to develop natural forest reserves located at west Ruvu that include Vikindu, Pugu and Kazimzumbwi to be earmarked as tourist sites.
The agreement will also help to improve the lives of people who live near the forest by initiating better and safe means of practicing farming which is the main economic activity.
Country director for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Dr Amani Ngusaru said the organisation will provide technical support to help the government in the implementation of the strategy.
The challenges on destruction of forest require intensive response from both stakeholders, the WWF is optimistic that AFRO100 will help to improve the situation.
He said they will work together with TFS to make the forests reserves at Kazimzumbwi to be used a forest site that will accelerate revenues to the district.