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FAO Assesses Tanzania’s Forest Resources

FAO8 July 2013: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Government of Tanzania, with financial support from the Government of Finland, are carrying out a mapping exercise of Tanzania's forests to assess its resources, including the size of the carbon stock stored within its forests. 

The National Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment project (NAFORMA) has conducted field assessments across 32,000 sample plots throughout Tanzania. The assessments gathered data on tree-species, tree height, trunk diameter, soil composition, as well as socioeconomic data within the communities in and around forests. The project under changing climatic conditions has revealed increasing pressure in Tanzania's forests as a result of energy needs.

According to FAO, wood and charcoal provide approximately 90% of the energy needed for cooking in Tanzania. With the population expanding at the rate of approximately one million people per year, FAO stresses that this demand for wood-fuel is putting increasing pressure on forests.

The monitoring and assessment data is intended to support policy making and decisions on sustainable forest management (SFM), as well as to help the country meet its requirements under REDD+. However, in Tanzania addressing deforestation and forest degradation will require a long-term integrated approach addressing issues such as energy supply, population growth, poverty alleviation, and land-use planning. [FAO Press Release] [National Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment Project Website]