FMNR Conference in Tanzania sees National Government FMNR Adoption

July 14, 2016

By Bishop Simon Chiwanga

On the 18th and 19th June the LEAD foundation, in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre and World Vision Tanzania, organised the National Workshop on Combating Desertification and Restoring Degraded Lands into Food Baskets at Parliament House, and St. Gasper Conference Centre, Dodoma, Tanzania.

The workshop was a great success, beyond expectations! The workshop goal: “The Tanzanian government, civil society and donors join forces to reverse desertification, restore degraded land and achieve food and water security through rapid, low cost and sustainable methods” was well received. The workshop had a strong focus on FMNR as a means of addressing land degradation. The presence of the Minister of Environment in the Vice President’s Office, two deputy ministers and 200 Members of Parliament was a significant turn out. The workshop was attended by 200 members of Parliament, 40 Senior Executives, NGO representatives and Academia from St. John’s University, Institute of Rural Development Planning, and the University of Dodoma.

Some of the expected outcomes of the workshop began to appear. The Minister for the Environment:

– Publicly announced government recognition and support of FMNR,

– Promised the formation of a national coordinating body for the regreening of Tanzania, consisting  of   representatives from the Tanzanian government, civil society and donors.

– Called for immediate mainstreaming of FMNR into relevant government programmes, and to include FMNR into school and college curricula at all levels from primary school.

The Office of the Vice President promised to provide LEAD Foundation with a copy of the proposed mega-national “tree planting” programme, to review and recommend places in the document where FMNR should be placed when producing the final version. In response to the Guest of Honour’s suggestion, the name of the national programme will be changed from “tree planting” to a name that will include FMNR technique.

LEAD Foundation, which led the preparations for and management of the workshop, was greatly humbled, by the attendance and outcomes of the workshop, and by being unanimously voted by workshop participants to be chair of the Tanzania Regreening Network. The need to equip LEAD Foundation with human and material resources to effectively perform its expected coordinating role became even more urgent.

Dennis Garrity (Senior Fellow, World Agroforestry Centre) Chris Reij Senior Fellow of the World Resources Institute) and Tony Rinaudo (Senior Natural Resource Management advisor, WVA) were at their best in their presentations.

Members of Parliament and senior executives were highly excited and expressed the need for urgent FMNR training all over the country.