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, Tanzania, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Latifa Felix still recallsthe terrible condition of Tanzania's Ruvu South Forest Reserve tenyears ago when it was overrun by illegal loggers, charcoal makersand invading farmers.
Many invaders of the Tanzania's most important coastal forestwere local villagers, and Felix, a villager-turned environmentalactivist, faced a tough task changing their minds.
"When we started the intervention ... it wasn't easy task tochange people's mindsets Uomo Balenciaga S Low Top Nere Italia
, as Ruvu South Forest Reserve waseverything to many of them," said Felix, now chairperson of theSoga village environment committee
"Forest conservation was depriving their main source of income,as some were engaging in illegal logging, timber and charcoalbusiness," she said.
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, since 2005 when non-government organizations (NGOs)such as Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), CARE-Tanzania,and Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) started encouragingvillagers to take part in saving the forest from disappearance,positive changes have ensued.
"We now have a number of people who are engaging in beekeeping,some are trying to venture into tree planting, conservationfarming Nike Shox 807 Uomo Rosse Nere Italia
, and others in poultry, just to reduce pressure from theforest reserve," she said, adding that they also formed a patrolteam to combat deforestation in the forest reserve located 45 kmwest of Dar es Salaam.
Now they are adding new projects in hopes of making a livingthat is financially and environmentally sustainable.
"Although many haven't yet started getting tangible benefits, ingeneral term, the forest has been restored Nike Shox 807 Uomo Nere Bianche Italia
," Latifa said.
She was also proud of the role local women have played. "Womenare the highly affected group when it comes to environmentaldegradation. Our roles are different from men: we're responsiblefor collecting firewood, water and forest products."
Latifa's remarks can be evidenced during the ten-kilometerjourney to Soga village from Kongowe area located along the Dar esSalaam-Morogoro Highway, where there are no lorries and motorcyclesloaded with charcoal as it was five years ago.
"No charcoal is transported from this village. Those people whowere engaging in that business have abandoned it as it wasn'tpaying on their side," said Fadhili Hassan Lyamba, a villagechairperson.
He confidently said that the forest has been replenished,charcoal is an illegal business "and those who are getting into theforest for whatever reasons are heavily fined".
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, the story in Soga village of more than3,000 people, exemplifies how villagers can benefit out of the50-year-old forest in a different manner.
The village leader said that there are people who are doingpatrols and they are also benefiting from what they do. They arebeing paid after arresting the culprit in the forest.
"Our forest is now safe to the extent that some of the wildanimals that were disappeared have started coming back," saidSubira Juma Mdimi, a village-based environment activist.
Villagers have started seeing mammals like buffaloes and othersmall wild animals in the forest, which had disappeared for a longtime.
"So Nike Shox TLX Donna Rosa Nere Italia
, what we've worked on for some years have started payingus," Mdimi said. "The forest is fully covered now. We've startedseeing changes in the climatic patterns. We're now getting rainscompared to the past .... this has a big contribution to ourlivelihoods and all these are the benefit of forestconservation."
Credit has been give to the collective efforts betweenvillagers, environmental NGOs and the government through TanzaniaForest Services (TFS).
According to Mdimi, NGOs like TFCG and TNRF through Mama Misitucampaign have trained villagers on the importance of conserving theforest. These efforts have changed people's mindsets and in turnsave the forest from extinction.
Shamari Juma, a village-based environmentalist describes MamaMisitu (Mother Forests) Campaign as a success as it informedvillagers on forest conservation and activities friendly to forestssuch as beekeeping, fish farming Nike Shox TLX Uomo Grigie Italia
, conservation farming, andcharcoal-saving stoves.
However, Juma said that lack of clear procedures of getting the32 percent of penalties charged from illegal loggers and charcoalmakers demoralize the conservation efforts.
He also suggested the need for TFS to set aside funds to pay ateam of people patrolling the forest reserve for making the jobsustainable.
Nassoro Mzava, District's TFS representative, admitted theimportance of joint forest management as the best option to thesustainable forest management in the area and the country atlarge.
"As TFS, we're aware of the challenges facing villagers who arein the frontline to conserve forests Nike Shox OZ D Uomo Nere Oro Italia
, and we're looking on the bestmodality to encourage them on what they have been doing," he said,noting that forest conservation is not a one-man show but acollective one.
Mzava, on his part, suggested the need for village leaders toact as an important custodian in forest management. "There areleaders who have been colluding with illegal loggers and charcoalmakers, something that needs to be dealt with."
Bettie Luwuge Nike Shox OZ D Uomo Nere Bianche Italia
, an expert from Tanzania Forest Conservation Group(TFCG), cited lack of an affordable alternative source of cookingenergy as a result of the ongoing deforestation in the country.
Bettie holds the view that Tanzania should come up with a policyon biomass energy policy to formalize charcoal as an importantsource of cooking energy, hence put in place better mechanism thatwill save country's forests.
The demand for charcoal in Tanzania is projected to increaseover the next 20 years due to rapid urbanization and populationgrowth. Enditem
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