New technology improves timber trade control, monitoring

Board Chairperson of the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) which ran the campaign, Dr Suma Kaare

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NEW technology has been developed to improve timber trade control and monitoring at checkpoints. The computerised system has so far been running under trial at Kibiti, Vikindu, Ikwiriri, Nangurukuru and Nyangao checkpoints.

The technology eases data capturing, storing and sharing among actors within the Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS). According to the Traffic, which designed the system, the technology has proven to be effective on improving transparency.

This was unveiled during a stakeholders’ meeting to learn from the five-year ‘Mama Misitu’ campaign which has come to an end, in Dar es Salaam yesterday. It is a communications campaign that aimed at improving the governance of Tanzania’s forests and the legality of forest harvesting, so that locals can increasingly benefit from sustainably managed forests.

Board Chairperson of the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) which ran the campaign, Dr Suma Kaare, said if the forests are well supervised could positively change the communities economically.

Dr Kaare commended the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for providing cooperation to the campaign and implementing the needs of the campaign, including changing of policy aimed at improving protection of the forests.

As the campaign ended, the TNRF is pushing for sustainability of the activities done during the campaign in order to continue protecting the forests.

Acting Director for Forestry and Bee Department, Mr Seleboni Mushi, said in the ministry’s framework the issue of engaging private sector in protecting the forests is well placed, noting that the ministry itself cannot do everything with limited resources.

Mama Misitu Campaign Coordinator in the Finnish Embassy in Tanzania, which financed the campaign, Mr William Nambiza, said since the start of the campaign there have been commendable responses on forest governance issues.

He noted that the Finland has agreed with the ministry on a new major 10 million euro for the project on sustainable management and utilisation of natural forests for 2016 to 2020. One of the major components of the project is to strengthen forest governance.

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