The project to Seed Bank project aim is to address critical issues of sustainability in the conservation of forests and biodiversity protection, and environmental management in Tanzania by ensuring a wider range of indigenous tree species are readily available to different participating community groups in order to promote sustainable environmental management at the local level through involving schools and existing community groups.
In order to ensure greater biodiversity in tree planting initiatives, the project will aim to sensitize the wider community to the value of the rare and endangered species in order to promote wider participation in conservation efforts.
The project will work firstly with community groups to train them in basic principles, and then they will explore the local areas, listing the common indigenous tree species and then identifying the unusual and rare trees for different areas, noting the local names if known, and also collecting specimens for verification of identity, as well as marking their location. This will assist to identify various good trees for seed source, and to set up a well resourced seed centre, to ensure a much wider range of seed species are available for areas reforestation projects.
We will then train 50 local community volunteers in seed collection & treatment skills, safety and equip them with necessary tools so that they can start to harvest indigenous tree seeds. These seeds will be brought to the regional indigenous tree seed centre which will be equipped with drying and post harvest treatment facilities and basic storage equipment. We will also set up a model indigenous tree nursery. Seeds will be dried, processed, labeled with all species details and sources noted and stored, then the centre will begin to supply to local community nurseries and re-forestation projects to be established.
An integral activity of the project in as far as the environmental front is concerned is to give a fresh meaning on the need to plant trees and to involve peoples of all walks of life in our endeavor to inculcate a culture of tree planting among our people that we work with.
Tanzania has various types of Ecosystems like, mountainous forests, terrestrial forests, hilltop forests, Savannah forests, river forests and mangrove forests among others which exhibit high diversity of both Flora and Fauna.
Allover Tanzania deforestation is a serious problem resulting in environmental degradation; it continues to strip the land of its soil, wildlife of their habitats and the people of their livelihood due to drought & famine and extinction of species both Flora and Fauna. At present Forest cover in Tanzania is estimated to be only a meager 2.7%, against a UN minimum recommendation of 10%.
Various reforestation programs in the country have been initiated, but one of the key issues is a lack of viable source of indigenous tree seeds. This always leads to reforestation being done with a very small mix of indigenous tree species, with introduction of numerous exotic species in forests leading to loss of biodiversity and thus habitat and ecosystems for a wider range of fauna and flora due to change of eco-balance.
Executive Committee of the YTO was involved in identifying the need of the indigenous seeds after we found that some exotic seeds don’t survive in many of our localities. This also gathered information from local people in villages who pointed out that many of the indigenous trees are disappearing due to high degree of deforestation.
Youth Training Organisation as a non-governmental doesn’t receive any financial support from the government
In order to reduce cases of conflict of interest each local community group, school or individual’s project will be autonomous in implementing own project to ensure ownership of the project in long term. Plans will be made to strengthen the capacities of these groups, clubs and individuals through intensive training in management and possible income generating activities. The groups will be able to raise funds through small membership fee and other income generating activities.
The purpose of this effort is also to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of running tree nurseries, transporting & transplanting of mature seedlings. Necessary resources like labor, manure, basic tools and equipments will be provided by specific participating community group, school club or individual.
The overall objective is to make many micro nursery projects instead of one or a few nurseries, reducing overall operating costs. To achieve this, seeds will be provided to interested community groups, school green clubs and individuals who require them without discrimination, thereby easing the process of monitoring the progress of each group club or individual’s project.
For long term sustainability the project will promote economic value of these species so that farmers can earn when seed are collected from trees on their lands.
This will also involve promoting income generating activities among different participating farmers, schools and community groups.
Through provision of indigenous tree seeds this project will be very important to the rural people; through sustainable use as a source of wood-products mainly wood-fuel; herbal medicines, fodder; building materials, help in soil conservation and improve catchment areas for water; generate an income and/or employment; and also help to improve air quality through reduction of greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide which have been known to cause global warming. In the end this project will help create employment to the locals, especially the youth who are currently jobless by providing good environment for income generating activities like sale of fodder, wood-fuel, herbs grown on farmlands and commercial bee keeping which is becoming very popular in rural Tanzania.
The project area has a wide variety of untapped natural resources like honey production and ecotourism which will be promoted as sustainable natural resource utilization. Similarly, local people have talents which have not been exploited to full capacity. The Project will impart new knowledge and skills to enable them to produce high value products for sale.
Rural farmers, Village Environmental Committees and students are the direct beneficiaries
The Indigenous Tree Seed Bank project will have the following short and long term impact;
a. Address issues of sustainability in forest management and conservation by providing required seeds for planting trees.
b. Curb climate change.
c. Provide resistance to soil erosion and thus protect rich land areas.
d. Promote water conservation.
e. Agro-forestry would curb out food insecurity of which would also form the bases for income generation activities.
f. Promote environmental aesthetics and landscaping.
g. Working with schools and communities, to form a base for curriculum development and learning for students.
h. Schools will act as demonstration centers for community groups in livelihoods and sustainability issues, hence forming bases for training and capacity building.
Am looking for those attend social community Development, Forestry, Agriculture, Rural Planning, Agro economics and IT but knowledge not a necessary as I will train them on basic knowledge on tree planting and nursery establishment and management.
Volunteers will be involved in the following activities in collaboration with the YTO staff; each volunteer will be assigned to a host Tanzanian;
- Shall assist project participants to establish tree nurseries and ensure its maintained
- They will provide environmental education to farmers, Village Environmental Committees, teachers and students
- They will organise for schools environmental club debates
- They will assist farmers on tree planting
Thanks all the readers and supportes for our Project