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

programmes proved unsuccessful. Only relatively wealthy African countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana had succeeded in reducing charcoal consumption. In terms of research, there has been a failure to distinguish between charcoal and firewood and the different types of threats they pose to forests. The former is a product of human labour, while the latter is harvested in usable form directly from nature. The failure to make this distinction in research has led to the role of charcoal in deforestation being underestimated. In one estimate, a 1 per cent increase in urbanization equals a 14 per cent increase in charcoal consumption. 30 Official charcoal production for all of Africa in 2014 stood at 32.4 million tons. 31 This is likely to be a very large underestimate. At a price of between approximately USD 200 32 and USD 800 33 per ton, the value of this trade is USD 6.5–26.2 billion across Africa, based on the official production figures. Tanzania officially produced 1.76 million tons in 2014, at a value of USD 352 million – 1.23 billion. This corresponds well with the estimated total contribution of charcoal to neighbouring Kenya’s economy, which is about USD 1.33 billion. 34 The official quantities reported to FAO for import and export of charcoal are certainly flawed. In 2014 Tanzania officially exported only 4 tons, or half a truckload of charcoal, and imported only 12 tons. 35 By comparison, one study found that 12 per cent of Kenyan charcoal feedstock came from abroad, with 4 per cent (equal to 384,000 m 3 of wood) from Tanzania. 36 It is realistic to assume similar import-export activity takes place with the finished product. Indeed, field studies show clearly that truckloads full of charcoal pass border points regularly. In addition, Kajiado, which is opposite Arusha in Tanzania, and Kwale, which is opposite Tanga on the coast of Tanzania, have been referred to anecdotally by informants as places where charcoal is exported from Tanzania to Kenya. Systematic information is lacking on this important part of the chain, because of the illegal nature of the trade. 37

The research on fuelwood and charcoal consumption has gone through stages. In the 1970s and 1980s there were warnings of an impending fuelwood crisis. The Government of Tanzania was inspired to initiate programmes to either improve cooking stoves and charcoal kilns to increase charcoal efficiency, or to transition to alternative fuels such as liquid petroleum gas. Alternative energy sources such as gas, kerosene and electricity remain unaffordable to most citizens, and ambitious programmes to transition to these have been unrealistic and unsuccessful in Tanzania.

By the 1990s, some studies blamed agriculture and grazing rather than fuelwood for deforestation, and the initiated


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