The Government of Finland is commemorating its 100 years of independence this year, 2017. The Embassy has held some events in Tanzania that represent the Government of Finland contribution in Tanzania and areas, which Finland supports as part of its foreign development policy. This tree-planting event commemorates 100 years of Independence of Finland but also celebrates 50 years engagement with the forest sector in Tanzania. For a Finn, trees and forests represent a shelter and value for life but also a basic element of livelihoods and potential for economic prosperity. Planting a tree is a symbol of long term commitment and working for the future generations.
Finland’s support to the forest sector in Tanzania has been to promote sustainable forest management by strengthening human resources and institution capacities, legal and regulatory frameworks, forest based industries and livelihoods and transparency, openness and accountability in management of forest resources. We also support promotion of community participation in decision making about the use and management of natural resources. This is a way of ensuring public responsibility on the resource to realize its contributions in national development goals.
Finland promotes the development within the Forestry sector and co-operates with all partners including the Government, the private sector and the civil society. Our support to Mama Misitu-campaign is a good example of that.
Currently, Finland together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) is supporting Private Forestry Program in Iringa, Njombe, Morogoro and Ruvuma Regions. We are working to help smallholders to be involved in forestry plantation business. Currently, 8000 hectares of quality plantation has been established by the farmers. To ensure that there is proper balance between agriculture, forestry and other land uses, the program has supported establishment of 51 village land use plans.
In the effort to support the five years development plan of Tanzania that seeks to Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Human Development, bring in the Finnish experiences and expertise in the forest that we believe will help to develop Tanzanian forest industry. The program supports small and medium sawmilling industries in the Southern Highlands to improve their business with better capacities and more efficient technologies. Value-addition with the use of efficient sawmills with higher wood recovery will mean higher incomes to everybody involved. An industrial node in Makete has been established to bring the market closer to the tree growers.
Our program has established Forest Wood Industry Training Centre in Mafinga where small forest industries are trained both on business development and on technology advancements. The training center offers worker/operational level training, which has been lacking in the industry. The programme in cooperation with Vocational Education Training Authority have developed vocation forestry curricular that is now under pilot at Forest Training Institute in Moshi and Arusha. This will then formalize forest trainings at the vocational level.
On the natural forest reserves, we have agreed with the MNRT for a 10 million euro project that will address village land forest management and value chain development. A final clearance from the Ministry of Finance of Tanzania is still pending before the implementation of this important new Forestry-project is able to commence.