Deputy Commissioner for conservation from Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) Mohamed Kilongo made the statement early this week in Dar es Salaam saying the agency has reached the decision after witnessing huge utilisation of natural forest raw materials thus affecting the nature.
He was speaking during the meeting with officials from government institutions that execute construction projects of government buildings.
According to him, government institutions have huge demand of forest resources especially for making timber.
“This is why we saw the necessity of having a meeting with them to help them know where to get raw materials from planted forest.”
Kilongo named the institutions including (SUMA JKT), Tanzania Building Agency (TBA), Mzinga Corporation, Tanzania Prison Services, Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and National Housing Corporation (NHC).
“As the government agency, we are so concerned with the ongoing constructions being carried out by government institutions by using materials like timber and others from natural forests reserves," he said.
“We have decided to have audience with you in order to let everyone know where such materials are available, how to access them basing on the volume you want, and what procedures are used to get them, this is essentially meant to protect the available natural forests reserves," he explained.
The commissioner said that natural forests reserves are not in the use for construction activities or other alike, they are conserved for tourism only.
The commissioner further said that, TFS is having farms for hard and soft timber with quality standard, and if the government institutions will make use of it, will reduce the cost for purchasing raw materials, will also help to reduce export of huge consignment of forest products, and will open rooms for job creation and income generation.
“It is our responsibility to protect, conserve and develop forest resources and beekeeping, and that is why we established 23 tree farms in order to protect natural forests reserves,” he insisted.
According to him, it is the right time for government institutions to make use of raw materials from planted forests, because we are about to ban harvesting of several species of trees in the few days to come," Kilongo elaborated.
Meanwhile, acting director for Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI) Dr Chelestino Balama said it is the right time for stakeholders who has a huge tender for construction of government buildings to start using timbers which are produced from government forest farms especially hard trees like teaks which can be used in any place that needs hard timber for construction.
Environmental management advisor for Prison Services - mainland Pius Saimon said it is better for the community to stop the use of natural resources especially those which are in the risk of disappearance, they need to shift to use of teak trees and other available in the planted forest in order to add value in the construction activities and quality of products.
According to the report from the agency, the government own 105,625 ha equivalent to 18 per cent of planted forest, while about 422,396 ha equivalent to 73 per cent of planted forest is owned by individuals.
Major species planted include pines, cypress, eucalyptus and teaks. The forest provides wood for building and construction, energy, revenue generation and local livelihoods.