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Forest Conservation Bearing Fruit of New Income in Tanzania

A spirited effort by the Tanzanian government and other stakeholders has started bearing fruits after the restoration of the once desolate Isabe and Salanga forest reserves in the central part of the east African nation.

Located in the Tanzania's central district of Kondoa, the two forest reserves were on the verge of destruction is now full of life as the forest has regenerated and the rivers now flow freely.

The two reserves are among of the important sources of water for people living in Kondoa District Council in Dodoma Region.

Some of the water flows directly into streams and rivers that go straight into the northern Tanzania's Tarangire National Park and other sanctuaries.

Mohamed Khatibu, a resident of Masawi village says forest cover has resumed in the two forest reserves. "Forest officials didn't use guns to force to get into conservation, but they just use a simple approach which is participatory forest management (PFM) initiative.

Forest officers achieved this following the support from Tanzanian government, local and international forest stakeholders under participatory forest management (PFM), Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)+ Climate Change Initiatives (ECOPRC) Project through Tanzania Community Forest Network (TCFN).

"This is what led us to realize this successful story we're witnessing today. Forest experts have managed to actively engage us (local communities) into the conserving the forest reserves. This involved a number of things including training," says Khatibu.

He adds: "And our involvement in conserving the forest resources has started bearing fruits. People in this area are trained on other income generating activities, which has reduced pressure to the forests.

"People are now engaging in various activities, which are friendly to the environment such as making interlocking bricks, beekeeping, charcoal saving stoves as among the new interventions that contributed to the replenishing of our forests."

Mathias Apitz (München)

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