DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania’s coastal high value
species will be exhausted in 30 years from now if the continued
degradation of coastal forests remained unchecked, said a new
report released on Tuesday.
degradation of the coastal forests was expected to significantly
decrease their capacity to provide ecological services and to
support livelihoods, said the report entitled: Saving Forests,
Changing Lives-Current status and trends in the Tanzanian
coastal forests and their woody resources.
The report was made
by WWF Tanzania in collaboration with the Tanzania Commission
for Science and Technology, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburg,
and other partners after they jointly conducted a one-year
research in 2016 in selected coastal forests in Coast and Lindi
The report said
forest surveys showed a progressive and significant decline in
the availability of woody resources in the coastal forests
between the 1990s and 2016.
charcoal burning continued to spread like waves from Dar es
Salaam, targeting resources from high to low value, and
spreading at a speed of approximately 10km per year,” said the
It added that the
resource extraction had substantial negative impact where
between 2005 and 2016 the density of standing trees in reserves
surveyed in Coast region was more than halved, and the carbon
stored in above-ground biomass decreased by 40 percent.
“The density of
trees suitable as timber dropped threefold, and the density of
species with the highest timber value dropped fourfold,” said
the report which was funded by players of People’s Postcode
Lottery in the United Kingdom.
It cited most
affected timber species as Milicia excelsa, Brachylaena
huillensis, Khaya anthotheca and Pterocarpus angolensis, saying
these species have almost been exhausted.
Antje Ahrends, Head
of Genetics and Conservation with the Royal Botanic Garden
Edinburgh, who was one of the lead authors of the report, said
Tanzanian forests were facing big pressure caused by expanding
population and growing cities.
She said city growth
rate was 5 percent while 90 percent of population was reliant on
wood fuels, timber for construction and export.