The Kilimanjaro National Park had been extended to the former 'Half-mile Forest Strip' (hereinafter referred to as 'HMFS') where used to be the buffer zone for the purpose of preserving the forest. Tanzania Pole Pole Club of Japan has opposed such extension to the former HMFS where is the forest of life for local residents. It is because the Club deems first that the forest preservation cannot be achieved by the extension of the National Park and secondly that the natural preservation policy without thinking about the livelihood of people having been living there so long is improper.
And also, the policy to have expanded the National Park has further fundamental problems. The primary purpose of its expansion was to achieve the forest preservation by eliminating completely the forest resource use of local residents. However, have local residents destroied the forest at all ?
In the above Fig 1, the former HMFS (shaded area) having been the past forest reserve of Mt. Kilimanjaro (now incorporated into the National Park) is shown. In a part of the HMFS surrounded with a dotted line, much forest has been lost, and many naked ridges are found. While, in another part of the former HMFS not surrounded with the dotted line, a luxuriant forest has still remained. The following Fig 2 is produced by the Club based on the forest administration map of Mt. Kilimanjaro made by the Government, and the red circles in the figure show that there had been the Government's forest plantations in the whole area in the past. Incidentally, the blue circles show that there had been the Government's plantations within the forest reserve and outside the former HMFS, and the black circles show the continued plantations till now.
It is the apparent fact from the Fig 1 and 2 that the area to have lost the forest within the former HMFS conforms to the area of the plantations for the Government to have commercially deforested trees. The only reasoning or prerequisite of the National Park extension on which it is founded is that 'local people are a major contributor to deforestation of the former HMFS. However, such reasoning or prerequisite is not justified at all'. Furthermore, the former HMFS with no plantations has still been preserved well.
Why does such irrational or unreasonable natural preservation policy just to take a toll on local people on the World Heritage Mountain go unchallenged? We cannot pass over in silence that behind the backdrop there have or had been recommendations to have to extend the National Park from developed countries in order to preserve forests. We feel painfully through our on-site activities that powers to rectify such mistaken policy are also the world power and voices of each of us. The world power will be able to bind the Tanzanian Government, and what will be able to motivate the Government is also the world power. Such power is needed right now. It's fine at any opportunity. Please extend your helping hand to us by presenting above real situation having happened on Mt. Kilimanjaro to as many people as possible and raising your voices in order to rectify such misdirected policy!
About the Tanzania Pole Pole Club:
The Tanzania Pole Pole Club is the environmental NGO of Japan established in 1994. Since its establishment, we have addressed the forestation activities to preserve and regenerate the forest in concert with the TEACA (Tanzania Environmental Action Association) of a local NGO having taken an active part based in Mt. Kilimanjaro and villagers on that mountain.
Particularly, our highest priority issue is to oppose the policy to have incorporated the former HMFS into the National Park which was carried out for the purpose to eliminate use of the forest by the local people under a false perception that the local people are a great deal of destroyers of the forest on Mt. Kilimanjaro, instead to create a framework of the preservation and management of the forest by a local community initiative together with the local people, and to place it as a new forest policy on Mt. Kilimanjaro. For this purpose, our Club has now coped with following activities:
(1) To show to the Government the fact that the local people having been a target to be excluded had made a significant contribution to the preservation and sustainable management of the forest (former HMFS) and had produced satisfactory results.
(2) To continue to require the Government to lift its designation of the National Park from the area of the former HMFS.
(3) To establish a concert organization by villages along the former HMFS in order to realize the integrated preservation and management of the forest on the former HMFS by the local community initiative.
(4) To build up an institutional framework to preserve and manage newly the forest by a local community initiative centering on the above concert organization.
(5) To formulate new environmental preservation bylaws in each village based on the newly established preservation and management framework of the forest.
(6) To position the new preservation and management of the forest by the local community initiative proposed by communities (the concert organization) in the forest policy on the former HMFS of Mt. Kilimanjaro, namely, to enact an ordinance.
(7) To convey above facts worldwide and to call for support that people around the world could help to rise up for correction of the wrong policy.
On the more detailed information related to above, please refer to the following home page of our Club:
Lost Forests of Inhabitants 〜Issues on the extended National Park of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Club's grappling with them〜
Aiming at community initiative forest management 〜Who can save the forest of Mt. Kilimanjaro ?〜"