BTC supports sustainable forest management in Tanzania
Public Private Partnership Model for Natural Woodland Management in Kilombero Valley
 
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the promotion of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for natural woodland management in the Kilombero Valley. The MoU was signed by the Country Representative of the Belgian Development Agency (BTC), the Chief Executive Officer of the Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC) and the Vice President for Conservation Projects, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). By means of this MoU, BTC, KVTC and AWF will support commercially oriented participatory forest management in the Kilombero Valley, which will both benefit forest conservation and generate income for local communities.
 
Tanzania is experiencing a rapid loss of forest resources. This will produce negative environmental and economic consequences. Rural communities or competing land use interests sometime do not see the benefit of forest conservation, if the conservation systems do not generate revenues. Generating revenues from timber harvesting in a sustainable manner requires technical and commercial capacities and a system of collaboration and accountability.
 
The PPP model was developed though a feasibility study supported by MNRT, BTC, KVTC and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. KVTC is the largest producer of teak in Africa. KVTC also has extensive natural forests on its land. Meanwhile, villages in the same catchment have established numerous forest reserves, but are yet to reap major direct financial benefit from them. The study proposed to establish a collaborative forestry management scheme on KVTC land, to enable sustainable harvesting of Miombo and a revenue sharing scheme with the neighbouring communities.
On that basis, the PPP partners have decided to join hands and launch this pilot initiative with two goals in mind: establish the collaborative scheme on 6,000 ha of Miombo in KVTC land; and pursue the development of a broader enterprise capacity and collaboration systems which with time may serve other villages in the catchment which have Village Forest Reserves.