STATEMENT DURING THE CEREMONY FOR THE AGREEMENT ON THE COORDINATED CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE MIOMBO/MOPANE WOODLAND ECOSYSTEM

STATEMENT
BY
HON. LAZARO S. NYALANDU (MP),
THE MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND TOURISM AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY FOR THE AGREEMENT ON THE COORDINATED CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE MIOMBO/MOPANE WOODLAND ECOSYSTEM, AT THE HATT REGENCY KILIMANJARO HOTEL,
DAR ES SALAAM, 29th, JUNE 2015

BETWEEN

THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
AND
THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

Honourable Minister for Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Mr. Christabel Ngimbu (MP)
Permanent Secretaries
Ambassadors and Diplomats
Government Officials
Members of the Press
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of United Republic of Tanzania, it is my great pleasure that I welcome you, Honourable Minister, Christabel Ngimbu (MP) and your delegation to this great event of signing the Agreement on the Coordinated Conservation and Management of the Miombo/Mopane Woodland Ecosystem. This occasion affirms our sincere, historical friendship and collaborations between our two nations before and after our independencies.

We also wish to express our appreciation to your government and you and your team for having accepted our invitation to join efforts in securing continued engagement and support in favor of sustainable forest management of Miombo/ Mopane ecosystem.

Honourable Minister
In recent years, natural resources poaching and illegal natural resources products trafficking across Africa has rapidly increased. This poses a threat not only to the survival of these resources populations but also to economic, political and ecological systems. It is clear that illegal removal of natural resources within and outside protected areas, if unabated, will seriously compromise the tourism industry not only in Tanzania but also in these nations and beyond.

Honourable Minister
Organized and intricate natural resources removal networks in and outside these countries sustain illegal trafficking of natural resources products hence making it difficult for a single country alone to make meaningful interventions. It is for this reason that Tanzania call upon her neighbouring countries and the international community to join hands in undertaking this demanding and important task.

Honourable Minister
In efforts to curb illegal removal of natural resources products, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has taken various measures such as increasing the frequency of regular and special operations and awareness campaigns to local and international community.

A very recent commitment of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to wildlife conservation and elephants in particular was in May last year when Tanzania hosted a conference titled “Stopping Wildlife Crime and Advancing Wildlife Conservation: A Call to Action“, held in Dar Es Salaam. In that conference the Tanzania Government and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and other key stakeholders developed appropriate and sustainable funding mechanisms to curb poaching and illegal ivory trafficking.

Honourable Minister
Tanzania and Zambia forest ecosystems are largely constituted by Miombo/ Mopane ecosystem harbouring significant protected areas of wildlife and forest resources. Considering this fact, it is was found prudent to include this forest type in declaration of the Regional Summit to stop Wildlife Crime and Advance Wildlife Conservation held at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) from 7 to 8 November, 2014 with a view of developing a shared approach towards addressing the illegal removal of natural resources products.

As a step towards reaching this commitment, our two Governments of the Republic of Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania have agreed to assure our people that we are seriously committed to conserve and manage well our shared Miombo/ Mopane ecosystem.

Honourable Minister
Although, our national forest and wildlife policies and legislations are supportive as far as Miombo conservation and management is concerned, the woodlands continue to be degraded and deforested. Partly, this is due to the fact that that our institutions responsible for this ecosystem have limited human and financial capacity.

Tanzania, being conscious of importance to enhance sustainable management of Miombo ecosystem, is pleased to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of the following issues in our commitments:
1. We are convinced of and support the initiative to sustainable management of Miombo ecosystem as it supports the livelihoods of the majority of its people by providing them with varied goods and services like foods, fuelwood, habitat, construction material for their houses, and medicines, among many other goods and services. In addition, Miombo woodlands constitute unique opportunities for rural communities in Tanzania to promote socio-economic development, environmental protection on the SADC region and to contain the negative effects of climate change. It is crucial that climate change mitigation and adaptation actions be part of implementation of an agreement to be signed.

2. With regard to the forest and climate change issues, Tanzania wishes to underline the importance of addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest and land degradation. Other important issues like agriculture, energy, livestock husbandry and other land uses need also receive attention.

Honourable Minister
Recognizing the significance and threats facing the Miombo ecosystem, Tanzania wishes to draw the attention of the international community through Development Partners to join our efforts to rescue this ecosystem in Tanzania, Zambia and across the SADC region.

We wish to implore all stakeholders to work together to ensure that the implementation of sustainable forest management through the Agreement on Miombo ecosystem for the benefit our people is significantly accelerated and supported with adequate resources.

I once again welcome you and call upon your participation and support to Conservation and Management of the Miombo/Mopane Woodland Ecosystem

THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW.

THANKS FOR LISTENING