Denmark supports Independent Forest Monitoring in Tanzania

The Tanzania Natural Resource Forum and the Royal Danish Embassy have signed an agreement for a local grant of DKr 5 million (equivalent to TZS 1.1 billion) to support the development and implementation of Independent Forest Monitoring in Tanzania. This new initiative follows the release in May of this year of a report ‘Forestry, Governance and National Development: Lessons Learned from a Logging Boom in Southern Tanzania', developed by TRAFFIC in partnership with the government and the Development Partners' Group.

The Independent Monitoring Development process will be divided into three phases: Design, implementation and evaluation. The initiative will be developed and carried out in close partnership with government, civil society organizations and the private sector.

The Danish Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Bjarne H. Sørensen, commented on the support saying, "We are pleased to see that civil society is actively taking part in improving governance and the sustainable management of Tanzania's valuable natural resources. I believe that Independent Forest Monitoring of Tanzania's forest resource-base is now more important than ever, particularly in supporting the government to curb extensive illegal logging."

The Ambassador's comments reflect the fact that the country's forest resources are a valuable economic asset and need to be more sustainably managed and harvested. This is important for supporting participatory forest management, poverty reduction and the emergence of vibrant and sustainable forest-based industries. DANIDA has a long-term commitment to improinvg the forest sector and this new initiative is an important step in this direction.

The Tanzania Natural Resource Forum Chairman, Mr Alais Morindat, welcomed the support, saying that it would be a substantial responsibility to ensure that the initiative was well designed and implemented. He said that he hoped that the government would view the initiative as a useful opportunity to further demonstrate its commitment to improving governance and forest management for the benefit of all Tanzanians. Finland and Norway have also expressed their strong interest in supporting the Independent Forest Monitoring process during the second and third phase of the programme.

Forestry Working Group: