Deforestation Threatens Critical Ecosystems Across Africa

Campaign Will Help Reforest Kilimanjaro Region

Ecosystems around the world are under assault like never before. The collapse of any ecosystem impacts life around the world–especially when the ecosystem is an anchor in Africa’s greenbelt.

Tanzania wildlife conservation

The greater Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania and Kenya is one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Millions of people and several endangered species depend on the snows of Kilimanjaro for survival. If these ecosystems collapse, it will have a ripple effect across Africa and around the world.

“Save Kilimanjaro” isn’t about a mountain. It’s about life. It’s about hope for our children and grandchildren. It’s a chance for us to push back against the insanity and devastation that’s chipping away at our world.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

 

Stakeholders across East Africa have innovative and comprehensive plans that can defend the greater Kilimanjaro region. They plan to save wildlife, capture carbon and reduce deforestation on a massive scale. This investment will benefit the entire planet, while preserving a world treasure. We can all make a difference.

Our first project will help the Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania defend the greater Kilimanjaro ecosystem with more than 10 million new seedlings, community engagement, wildlife conservation strategies and more. They will educate local stakeholders about sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife management.

Africa climate change solutions

The Foundation will start three large greenhouses and nurseries to produce the seedlings over the next three years. Hundreds of local stakeholders will help plant and care for the trees. 

The Rombo District Council and the Rongai Forest Plantation Authority have donated several acres for the nurseries. The Moshi Municipal Council offered a third nursery for urban reforestation. (Two nurseries border Kilimanjaro National Park.)

Unlike past reforestation efforts in the region, we will focus on local needs and long-term sustainability. The seedlings are indigenous species that can help restore and protect the integrity of the ecosystem, while helping rural communities thrive as stewards of the land.

reforest Tanzania

We will plant trees for sustainable timber, rainfall management, groundwater conservation, food, wildlife habitat and other regional needs. We will include an urban forestry program that will help “street kids” generate food and income. The urban canopy can help capture pollutants and water runoff, while making the cities more resilient and energy efficient.

Tanzania has already lost more than half of its elephants to poachers over the past decade. Other large mammals are on the same path. They could be wiped out entirely in just five or six years. Adding to the crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.

lion conservation Africa

Conservationists are demanding more efforts to protect endangered species now. In a letter published July 27, 2016 in the journal BioScience, 43 wildlife conservationists warn that elephants, lions, rhinos, gorillas and many other species will become extinct without urgent intervention, which must include habitat conservation, community engagement and more.

“We will soon be writing obituaries for species as they vanish from the planet,” said authors from Wildlife Conservation Society, Zoological Society of London, Panthera and many others. Extinction is a slippery slope.

We need sponsors, donors, volunteers and in-kind donations. Please Help Save Kilimanjaro and beyond https://www.gofundme.com/SaveKilimanjaro

Asante’ sana.

deforestation and climate change

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Kilimanjaro Ecosystem Facing Uphill Battle

Editor’s Note: The environmental and humanitarian problems in the Kilimanjaro region are spreading across Eastern Africa. We are working with local stakeholders to reverse the damage and save the region for future generations. For more information, please click on “East Africa Plan” on the menu bar above.  

Plans Ready To Help Save Kilimanjaro Region

Global warming has not spared Kilimanjaro Region, home to the highest mountain in Africa and sadly, human activities play part in it. The once greenish region that had attracted a lot of holiday makers and had water streams flowing all over the place, has now become somehow semi arid. As a result, Moshi Municipal dwellers are forced to grapple with water rationing, something they have never experienced before. The climate change has not been taken lightly by regional authorities.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

They have worked out new methods to help cope with the climate change and bring back the good old days. Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Leonidas Gama who has a passion for conservation has been at the forefront in the fight against degradation. Mr Gama says one of the biggest challenges as far as environment is concerned is the size of the region vis-àvis the big population.

Kilimanjaro is the second small Region on the Mainland, with a size of 13,209 square kilometres but is third in terms of population growth (1,640,087) according to the 2012 census. “The small size of the region compared to the big number of people is our main challenge as we strive to make sure the environment is not damaged,” says Mr Leonidas . He also notes that the region decided in February 2012 to halt tree felling and transportation of wood products.

Leaders, including executives and several stakeholders in the region held a meeting to discuss the environmental situation and how to address the challenges. Mr Gama says the proposals from the stakeholders were forwarded to Regional Consultative Committee (RCC).

lion conservation Africa

“The RCC decision was to stop forthwith issuing permits to loggers and halt transportation of wood products even from privately owned farms. “People were directed to get their forest needs from government owned forests of Rongai and West Kilimanjaro.

The decisions that were participatory are being implemented until now,” says the RC. Another strategy was to start a tree planting campaign during long rainy seasons so as to revive the vegetation that used to thrive some decades back.

In 2011/12 the target was to plant 7,000,000 trees but managed 83% of that; in 2012/13 they set themselves to plant 12,901,937 trees but managed 62% and this financial year the target is 11,000,000 trees whereby the planting exercise is going on.

There have been operations to nab environmental degradation suspects in which 12 people were arrested, 3,889 logs, four polls, four chainsaws and three seesaws were impounded. Kilimanjaro also aims to reduce the use of forest products in cooking.

The regional government has instructed municipal and district councils to make available to citizens special stoves that use briquettes instead of firewood or charcoal. The Acting Project Supervisor for Sustainable Land management (SLM) Mr Damas Masologo says they have done research on how to avoid using wood and its products in cooking.

The four-year project that started in 2010 has come up with alternative source of energy technology and already 224 households, to start with, have been selected. He concedes, however, that they face several challenges in implementation of the project as some people have little understanding of the need to conserve environment by adopting alternative source of power.

wildlife conservation Africa

The region got an upper hand as far as alternative source of power is concerned because Kilimanjaro Industrial Development Trust (KIDT) is set to double its briquette production to two tonnes a day. A stakeholder in this, as it has been in many other projects is Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that donated a 100 million/- briquette production machine to KIDT.

The General Manager of KIDT, Engineer Frank Elisa says briquettes locally known as ‘kuni bora’ are made from sawdust or grain chaff, particularly paddy. They are compressed to form blocks and a piece is enough to cook a family meal in a short period of time. Moshi Municipal Director, Mr Shaaban Ntarambe says they are poised to start using the special stoves but are looking for the types that will suit urban dwellers whose houses differ from those in rural areas.

Mr Ntarambe says the type they have been introduced to costs 400,000/- and are still looking for ways to cut costs. “We want affordable and manageable stoves so we did not want to risk in this. We have been very careful and hopefully in a few days we will have everything in place ,” says Mr Shaaban .

Moshi District Executive Director, Mr Fulgence Mponji says they have registered an increase in use of alternative power at household level, in institutions and industries. That biomass was well done and citizens were trained on how to use biogas and briquettes.

He says 20 stoves were installed in 20 households. “Use of alternative power will help in conserving the environment,” says Mr Mponji. It will be easier for other households to learn because construction of the stoves will take place in groups.

Africa wildlife conservation

Money set for this project is 13,585,600/-. Members of Parliamentary Committee of Land, Natural Resources and Environment are deeply moved about the project but are wary of its delay. Chairman of the Committee, Mr James Lembeli cannot comprehend why the use of briquettes has been so much delayed while environmental degradation pace is alarming.

Another member of the committee, Ms Grace Kiwelu (Special Seats – Chadema) wondered what kind of advice they are waiting to get from the Regional Government. Mr Lembeli warns against bureaucracy and forms an opinion that Regional Government should endorse types of stoves that councils have proposed because they know better what suits their people.

To the rescue of the Regional Government and in showing that there is no bureaucracy, Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Dr Faisal Issa says there are many things to be looked at, including the use of gas stoves. The Deputy Minister of State in Vice President’s Office (Environment), Ms Ummy Ally Mwalimu commended environmental conservation efforts in Kilimanjaro, but wondered how long would the ‘time frame’ take.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201402170177.html?viewall=1

reforestation and climate change solution

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Tanzanians Hope To Restore Kazimzumbwi Forest

National Forest Destroyed

MAZINGIRA Network of Tanzania (MANET) has called upon the government and other stakeholders to make a joint strategy to restore the destructed 98 percent of the Kazimzumbwi National Forest.

Kazimzumbwi is a national forest reserve in the west of Dar es Salaam at Ilala Municipal in Chanika County which has eight villages in the forest reserve. Addressing the situation to journalists in Dar es Salaam, the MANET Chairperson, Mr Zubery Mwachulla said the forest has been severely damaged due to human activities.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

“The government has to remove the confusion from the minister’s statement (Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka) that the people of Kazimzumbwi are there legally,” he said.

He said there were contradictory statements between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and Prof Tibaijuka in parliamentary in October 2012, which legalized people to live in the area. He added that, trespassers have destroyed water sources, fell trees, used wood for fuel and burnt the forest for cultivation purposes, disrupting rain patterns around the Kazimzumbwi area.

“The government and other stakeholders have to work closely and see how best the people living there now can be removed to save the forest,” he said.

According to Mr Mwanchulla, MANET needs to know government’s strategies to restore the forest because it is possible to revert it to the way it was in between three and five years.

lion conservation Africa

“We call on the district authorities to engage with other stakeholders to work towards restoration of the parts of the forest that have been badly degraded,” said Mr Mwanchulla.

Mr Rashid Abdalla, a resident at Kazimzumbwi area, however, had different ideas. He said that the areas they have been living in are legally their portion of land since the 1940s and accused MANET of harassment. “Even the government through various ministries are aware of that fact and I have been living here since my childhood.

Why do they want to take our land that we inherited from our forefathers,” he lamented. The Director of Forestry and Beekeeping in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Felician Kilahama, said there has been concerted efforts by officials in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development to secure 200 plots from the reserve.

“Kazimzumbwi was gazetted in 1954 when some of us were still young and many others were not yet born. The colonialists found it a valuable area and decided to put it under legal protection.

reforest Tanzania

Surprisingly, today we do not see that value. We want to see houses within the forest,” he said. Government efforts to secure conservation of Kazimzumbwi forest are supported by the government of Norway through the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST).

WCST is operating as a government partner in ensuring that Kazimzumbwi is well restored and managed for the benefit of Tanzanians and global communities as far as climate change is concerned.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201311060045.html

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Deforestation Accelerating In Tanzania

Reforestation Vital To East Africa’s Future

Forests in Tanzania could disappear within decades, it was learned last week from a regular source in Arusha, if not checked immediately and massive reforestation undertaken. According to the source, Tanzania presently has over 400,000 hectares of forests, but the loss of forest cover has been extensive over the past 50 years and has accelerated over the past decade.

deforestation and climate change

Government officials blamed the situation on the increase in use of charcoal, which in the absence of affordable and easily-available electricity is often the only means of heating water and cooking meals, in both remote rural areas and also among the urban poor living in squalid conditions with no electricity nor piped water.

This latest report was published by globally-respected Conservation International in an attempt to draw much-needed, high-level attention to the dire situation, in order to protect biodiversity, fragile ecosystems, and alongside keeping the tourism sector up and running, which depends most heavily on an intact environment for visitors to see when they come from overseas and spend their money in Tanzania.

elephant conservation Africa

Tourism is a key source of foreign exchange earnings for the country and also one of the largest sectors in terms of creating employment, and Tanzania could not afford to neglect these issues if the upwards trend of tourism arrivals is to continue in the future.

Source: http://www.eturbonews.com/16263/stark-warning-forest-disappearance-tanzania

reforestation and climate change solution

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com