Find Forestry expertise in United Republic of Tanzania
- Overview of sector
- Employment and production
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute 45% of GDP (of mainland Tanzania in 2007). Forest covers 40% of the total land area (2010) and national forest cover shrank by 1.0% per annum during 1990–2005, due largely to illegal logging, which has been spurred by the demand for hardwood timber both within Tanzania and in Asia and the Middle East. In addition, both demand for livestock grazing land and wild fires are responsible for part of the deforestation. International organisations have highlighted Tanzania’s forests and mangroves as important areas of habitat and biodiversity as well as crucial water catchment areas.
There are an estimated 1,773 species of tree in Tanzania in the lowland, submontane, montane and mangrove habitats. The most commonly planted species include pine, eucalyptus and teak which is exported to global markets. Illegal logging is a widespread problem in Tanzania since a 2004 government ban on the export of logs and the value of timber export which has grown by 1,400% since 1997.
The Forestry and Beekeeping Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is responsible for forestry. The National Forest Programme (NFP) has a strong focus on sustainability, economic and regulatory development and effective collaborative management. The National Forestry Resources Monitoring and Assessment (NAFORMA), 2009, aims to provide data for use in monitoring of forests and forestry resources.
The forestry sector directly employed around 8,200 people in 2005 and there were 363 registered forest companies. Timber and logging companies as well as processing plants such as sawmills are located around the country. Examples include Global Timber and UK owned company British Tanzania Timber Ltd.
The export market for woods including teak and sandalwood is growing and includes both the Chinese and EU markets.
In terms of education in forest-related subjects, in 2008 105 people graduated at diploma level, 215 at bachelor level and 115 at masters level.