The Forest Act

Topics: Forestry Pages: 11 (3516 words) Published: April 22, 2013
the term forest is defined as an area of land with at least ten per cent (10%) of tree crown cover, naturally grown or planted and/or fifty per cent (50%) or more shrub and tree regeneration cover and includes all forest reserves of whatever kind declared or gazetted under this Act and all plantations.

The Forest Ordinance of 1959, is the law which governs the Forest Law of 2002, having the objective to effect governmental control for economic gain rather than sustainable development, as the concept of environment is not been taken seriously. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF FORESTS IN TANZANIA

Historically the forest act can be traced back as far as 1819 to 1919 whereby the state controlled forest estate was initially established under German colonial administration who were the first colonialist in Tanzania. The German’s administrator used different methods and tactics in preserving the forest such as forcing the residences near forest or in the forest places to evacuated those places immediately and there were no remedies present for those who violated the decree intentionally. In 1921 after the Second World War Tanganyika was placed to the British Administration. The English supervision presented the Forest Ordinance which was based on that used in adjacent Kenya colony which placed restriction on access to and use of forest products. The spirit of the British colonialists to protect the forest and its resources were also seen in the Land Ordinance whereby it introduced protected areas; forests areas being part and parcel.

Soon after independence, forests in Tanzania have been managed and controlled by the Forest and Beekeeping Division under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. This management has been characterized by extensive state control which does not involve the local community forests. The forest management was due to forest degradation and deforestation through illegal activities and increase of human pressure on natural resources. In Tanzania a vast forest area existed for instance in the 1990’s, the forested areas were ranging from 41-42 percent. It was observed that most of the forested areas were cleared for agricultural, overgrazing, wildfires, charcoal burning and overexploitation activities. During 1961-1997 it was discovered that over 10 million hectares of forest had been lost therefore in order to prevent this loss the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism made an effort and concentrated on active participation of the local community and stake holders. In 1990 the Forest Policy came into existence by virtue of the Forest and Beekeeping Division. Currently the Forest sector in Tanzania is controlled by three parallel structures which includes The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, The Regional Secretariat and the Local Authority.

The Forest Policy (NFP) of 1998 in Tanzania was the result of reviewing its Forest Policy of 1953. Generally, the objective of this policy was to enhance the contribution of Forest sector to the sustainable development in Tanzania and conservation and management of her natural resources for the benefit of the present and the future generation. This means that forests have to be managed in terms of socio-economic, ecological and cultural sustainability and with the principle of multi-functionality and equitable benefit and responsibility sharing. Also the Forest Policy also recognizes the role of the private sector in management of forest resources and the policy responsibility of managing forest resources will be left in the hands of specialized agencies and the private sector, central government responsibility will be managed. The Policy promotes tools to implement different communities based management regimes, ranking from Joint Forest Management to community management (Community Based Forest Management, Village Forest Reserve).

The objectives related to forest policy
ØTo ensure sustainable...
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