January 20, 2012
DAR ES SALAAM - A campaign to improve forest governance in Tanzania will begin its second phase thanks to a commitment for continued financial support from Finland and Norway.

There are high expectations for the campaign, known as Mama Misitu.  Merja Mäkelä, Natural Resources councellor for the Embassy of Finland, says the campaign is expected to improve the transparency and accountability in the forestry sector and reduce the illegal harvesting of precious Tanzanian timber.

“We are very excited about this continued support,” says Carol Sorensen, Coordinator of the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF).  “Phase two of Mama Misitu allows us not only to carry on with the great work we began in phase one, but it also provides an opportunity for us to evaluate the challenges, successes and lessons from phase one, which we hope will lead to more effective strategies and ideally better overall results.”

The campaign will be building public, private and non-governmental partnerships and networks related to sustainable use of forests and timber products. The aim is also to promote participatory forest management processes through the campaign, so that communities can increase their rights over their land and forests and strengthen their capacity to sustainably manage their forests.

Mama Misitu will work in 8 districts during the 5-year project, which will take place 2012 - 2016. There will also be a focus on national-level engagement, where Mama Misitu hopes to raise public awareness on the value of forests and their sustainable management to the nation.

The Campaign will be coordinated by TNRF, and is a true coalition effort, with 18 implementing NGOs, including NGOs working with communities in the 8 districts.  “The alliance strongly believes that strengthening rights and capacity at local level will reduce illegal logging and improve forest governance,” says Carol Sorensen.

The Mama Misitu campaign is funded jointly by Finland and Norway. Finland is funding the campaign with 2 000 000 euros and Norway with 17 500 000 NOK which is all together approximately 5 060 000 USD.