December 08, 2020


Senior Advisor for FORVAC Tanzania Juhani Harkonen talk with charcoal producers.




FOREST stakeholders has underscored the need for investigative reporting in forest value chain in order to highlight the underlying challenges in the forest value chain as well as the best practice to address them.

The call was made by national programme coordinator for Forest and Value Chains Development Program (FORVAC) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Emmanuel Msoffe that media is a right channel to communicate the potential of value chains in the forest products economically, socially and development.

“But also to reveal the illegal acts happen in the forest as well as to highlight the good development done by villagers in the forest,” he said.

He made the remarks over the weekend in Ruangwa district, Lindi region during the two-day media training which was facilitated by Cassin Sianga and Deo Mfugale.

“Investigative reporting in forest sector helps to broaden awareness to community about the values of forest products in order for them to increase conservation of forest resources,” Msoffe insisted.

The initiative is part of the ongoing four years project dubbed; Forest and Value Chain Development Programme (FORVAC) 2018-2022 at a cost 25bn/-, it is Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented by Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

He added that, the government has been working hard on community based forest management (CBFM), but through FORVAC program, the Ministry is intending to increase awareness on the values of forest economically to benefit the community.

“We have been encouraging the government institutions working in forest sector to amend their laws and policies mainly to stimulate the development of forest, hence we need the media to the join the effort,” he added.   

Msoffe said that Tanzania has more than 48milion ha of forest whereby 22milion ha are in the villages, while only 2milion ha are conserved by villagers, therefore, it is the high time now for journalists to highlight the need for forest conservation to help government and other stakeholders to act upon.

“So far, the project has benefited more than 330,000 people based in Lindi, Ruvuma and Tanga, adding the intention is to reach to more people,” Msoffe explained.

According to him, the project is working to increase the value chain in the forest products like wood, charcoal and others available in the forest.

Senior advisor for FORVAC Tanzania Juhani Harkonen said that they are happy after achieving to benefit 10 districts in the program scheduled to end in 2022.

He mentioned the districts that has been benefited from the program include Ruangwa, Nachingwea, Liwale, Namtumbo, Mbinga, Songea, Nyasa, Mpwapwa, Handeni and Kilindi.

“We believe that FORVAC will stimulate the development of (CBFM), but the media is having a great role to make sure that the initiative yields positive results,” he emphasized.

For his part natural resources officer for Lindi region Zawadi Joseph said the authority in the region fully support the initiative together with other institutions working to encourage sustainable forest conservation.

He said the region is having more than 900,000 hectors of forest which are present in 70 villages, the idea is to strengthen conservation of the forest and its products.   

Joseph added that, through the project, they have managed to develop proper land use management plan that put boundaries of forest and village land.

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