Tanzania acts to save its forests

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Stacks of wood are seen near a charcoal furnace at a charcoal making site in the forest of Bieszczady Mountains near Baligrod village, Poland October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

ARUSHA (Xinhua) – Tanzanian government has announced a six-month operation to get rid of people encroaching into protected forests across the east African nation.

Suleiman Jafo, Tanzania’s Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), announcing this after visiting the highly deforested Makere Forest Reserve in Kigoma region, stressed the importance of local communities to get permits before getting into the protected forests.

He said Tanzania has to act on indiscriminate tree felling, which is threatening the country’s forest cover and people’s livelihoods.

Tanzania has some 33 million hectares of forests and woodland, but the country has been losing forest for two decades, according to Tanzania Forest Service (TFS)’s recent report.

On the Makere Forest Reserve, Mr Jafo said the government has set aside 10,012 hectares outside the forest reserve for agricultural activities.

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