Tony Rinaudo speech at Dodoma University, Tanzania

June 24, 2014

On  Thursday 12 June, Tony Rinaudo spoke at Dodoma University, Tanzania, the largest university in East Africa and challenged the staff and students.

“Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration is a no-regrets technology” said Tony in his address. “In 30 years of promoting FMNR, nobody has told me that it was all a big mistake. Even if it was, all that would need to be done would be to cut the trees down again. As the old adage says, if you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, then by all means go for it, that is, give it everything that you have to ensure it succeeds.

Tanzania has amongst the highest deforestation rates in the world at around 1.1%, or approximately 400,000 hectares per year. My challenge to the University of Dodoma is this: enlighten, educate, innovate and create a better future. The the university – within its capacity as a teaching institution; to the staff – within your capacity as educators; and to the students – within your capacity as privileged few and as those who will inherit a degraded world.

What will YOU do to champion FMNR? I have a few suggestions:

  • Start FMNR on your own extensive grounds
  • Become the first university to include FMNR in your curriculum
  • When you host national, regional and international forums highlight the potential of FMNR
  • Influence policy
  • Influence the practice of Departments of Agriculture and forestry
  • Develop web based learning modules
  • Volunteer during your vacations in villages
  • Make some research-needs aspect of FMNR the topic your PhD or masters thesis.”

Tony will be leading a National FMNR Workshop in Rwanda on 26 June and will participate to the Uganda FMNR National Conference on 2-3 July.