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




Alternative sources of energy in urban areas are urgently needed to counteract the increasing dependence on charcoal. Both electricity and petroleum-based energy are available but only on a very small scale, and they are unlikely to replace charcoal in the near future if population growth and urbanization are accompanied by poverty. More data on this fast-growing charcoal consumption is needed, in addition to on the scale and character of unregulated import and export of charcoal. Charcoal will increase in importance as the demand rises and, with it, both prices and opportunities for transnational organized crime to control the sector increase. 5

Improved regulation leading to improved conditions for investment – which can lead to improved kiln efficiency and investment in reforestation – is urgently needed. Anti- corruption efforts must accompany reforestation to ensure that gains are not quickly reversed. Stocks of the preferred charcoal species Acacia spp., Combretum spp. and Terminalia spp. are being depleted due to over-harvesting. Official taxation of the large and growing informal charcoal industry must be enabled by corruption reduction policies across law enforcement. When fully licensed transportation is still illegally taxed by corrupt officials, it becomes difficult to transition to state-based rather than informal taxation. Reforestation responsibility easily becomes fragmented as a consequence of an informal charcoal sector. Producers are not landowners, and land ownership is in itself a contentious and complicated issue. Government policy needs to be focused on the long term and provide a clear strategy for reforestation to prepare for the large consumption and attendant deforestation expected in the coming decades. Tree regeneration responsibilities should be decentralized as closely as possible to charcoal producers, for example at the village level. Any fees charged for trees cut could fund tree regeneration expenses. 2 3


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