Combating Poaching and Illegal Logging in Tanzania: Voices of the Rangers-Hands-on Experiences from the Field


who are the ones going to the rural areas where they meet with locals. These local people, most of them in the Lake Zone come from Burundi, are contacted and tasked with producing a certain number of charcoal bags or pieces of timber. For the first time they are provided with food and equipment, mainly axes, bush knives, hoes and saws. After completing a task, they then negotiate a price for each bag of charcoal or piece of timber, and the amount given as an advance for food and equipment is subtracted from the total. The Burundians enter the country illegally, and many come from areas where there were refugee camps.”

According to law enforcement officers involved in counter- poaching work in northwest Tanzania, the illegal logging situation is characterized by vast challenges, including corruption and a weak judiciary system. The following quotes and explanations are based on experiences from anonymized Lake Zone law enforcement personnel interviewed about the circumstances surrounding illegal logging in their area of responsibility. Who is involved, and where does it take place? “A large number of people are involved in making charcoal or timber get to the market. The mode is the same. Business people in town give money to their subordinates, called managers,

“Areas of forest reserves are highly degraded due to timber and charcoal production. Biharamulo Forest Reserve, Nyantakara

Confiscated wood products, charcoal and bicycles, Lake Zone Tanzania, November 2015


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