AfricaPress-Tanzania: AN alarm has been sounded, to the effect that Blackwood and African mahogany trees are on the verge of extinction, attributing the threat to over dependency on forest products. Speaking in Dodoma over the weekend during the meeting that embraced professionals from Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), Agency and other stakeholders from public and private sectors, Mr Deosdedit Bwoyo,
who represented the director of Forestry and Fisheries, said population growth was also behind the phenomenon. The expert in forestry told participants, including individuals engaging in carpentry and furniture trade, that it was high time they turned to other alternative trees such as teaks.
“Tanzanians are very fond of using blackwood and African mahogany trees but it takes over 70 years for the former to grow, and we have not put in place a good plan to preserve these trees that are now diminishing. We musttake deliberate action,” said Mr Bwoyo.
He further said that the forest policy emphasizes sustainable management and utilization of forest products but also emphasizing the use of other timber in the sense that all trees must benefit Tanzanians. He said that for several decades, the government established a new timber plant tree in some parts of the country, including Mtibwa in Morogoro which has the same characteristics as Blackwood and African mahogany trees.
consider switching to this new plant species so that the next generation can see and use both Blackwood and African Mahogany,” he said. Due to the worsening situation, the Deputy Commissioner for Conservation, Mr Mohamed Kilongo, said they decided to convene the session to look at the proper use of existing tree reserve and alternative timber.
“We have decided to start a dialogue that will deliberate on replacing Blackwood and African mahogany trees that we have been using without making any replacements.
Now we are on the drawing board for a better solution; We must use the stocks we have properly so that these resources do not vanish,” he remarked.
He said the program would look at what was available in the market and the field and discuss with stakeholders their interests according to need and then advise them based on what is in the market. Mr Kilongo explained that at the session, they looked at procurement regulations that emphasize the use of Blackwood trees for all government furniture which is a threat to the presence of such trees.