DAR ES SALAAM, March 1 (Xinhua) --
The government of Tanzania has formed a task
force aimed at reinforcing the implementation of the Zanzibar
Declaration on Illegal Trade in Timber and Other Forest
Products, an official said on Thursday.
for Planning, Policy and Research in the Ministry of
Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries Sheha
Hamdan said the task force, formed in February, is composed of
forest experts from mainland Tanzania and the Zanzibar
He made the remarks
at a forum on global strategies to protect forests organised by
the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in Dar es Salaam.
Signed on Sept. 9,
2015, during the World Forestry Congress held in Durban, South
Africa, the declaration is a collective regional mechanism that
brings together five member states—Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya,
Mozambique and Madagascar—to improve forest management and
Hamdan told the
forest experts from 62 countries around the world that illegal
timber trade is flourishing at an alarming pace across the
security along borders and in the oceans is crucial towards
curbing illegal transportation of timber from one country to
another,” the official said.
“The war on illegal
trade in timber should not be left to the government alone,” he
said. “Everybody has a role to ensure that our forests are
protected for the benefit of our future generations.”
forest specialist for WWF Colombia, underlined the need for
inter-regional cooperation and mechanisms to curb illegal timber
trade for sustainable development.
Pacheco appealed for
more community engagement in managing forest resources for
Julie Thomson, head
of TRAFFIC East Africa, said insufficient law enforcement, poor
transparency in forest activities and improper monitoring of
timber industry are among obstacles facing the fight against
illegal trade in timber.
It is estimated that
the world loses approximately 13 million hectares of forest a
year, or the equivalent of 36 football fields per minute.
Tanzania loses approximately 400,000 hectares of forest