IUCN, along with sixteen other NGOs, is a founding partner of the «Mama Misitu» campaign, to be officially launched tomorrow by Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wanagi Maathai in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. Tackling illegal logging and ensuring sound forest management are the primary goals of the two year advocacy and awareness raising campaign, initiated by the Tanzania Forest Working Group and triggered by TRAFFIC's report on illegal logging in southern Tanzania.
“Now is the time for action”, said Cassian Sianga of the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum at the signing of the agreement between the 17 partners on April 7 2008. ‘We have the information, we know what needs to be done and through the Mama Misitu campaign we plan to make real changes in how Tanzania’s forests are managed. Business as usual is no longer acceptable. It is robbing our nation of desperately needed resources.”
The “Mama Misitu” campaign will work with people at all levels of society focusing on regions most vulnerable to corruption in forest management, including Coast, Morogoro, Lindi, Tanga, Ruvuma and Mtwara. Illegal logging in the country is responsible for violation of local people’s rights, degradation of tropical forests and massive losses of government revenue. The cost of illegal logging has been estimated at USD 58million in 2005 alone, an amount equivalent to the cost of building 1,933 primary schools, according to Cassian Sianga.
IUCN experts will be working closely with the other campaign partners, including TRAFFIC, WWF Tanzania Programme Office, CARE-Tanzania and local NGOs. The “Mama Misitu” campaign is facilitated by the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum and financed by the Government of Finland.
“Mama Misitu” 17 founding partners
Africare, CARE-Tanzania, Farm Africa, Femina HIP, JET, IUCN, LEAT, Mpingo Conservation Project, Policy Forum, Tanzania Association of Foresters, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Tanzania Natural Resources Forum, TRAFFIC, Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the WWF Tanzania Programme Office
TRAFFIC International co-ordinates the worldwide TRAFFIC Network which is a joint programme of WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature and IUCN - The International Union for Conservation of Nature, established to monitor trade in wild plants and animals. TRAFFIC works in co-operation with the CITES Secretariat
Mama Misitu –learn more on the Website of the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum