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Conservation of Ruvu South Forest through Education, Advocacy, Tree planting and Elimination of Poverty (CREATE) project

Ruvu South Forest Reserve is one of the most extensive areas of coastal forest, woodland and thicket in Tanzania. The reserve is home to at least six vertebrates endemic to the Eastern Arc and Coastal forests as well as populations of elephant. The reserve has long been neglected by government. Illegal charcoal production is rife. Surrounding communities are ready to join hands with the government to rescue the reserve. But so far the government has refused to sign the joint management agreements. Whilst lobbying for these to be signed, TFCG is also supporting basic management activities like patrols to ensure the survival of the forest.

Ruvu South Forest Reserve

Ruvu South is one of the most important coastal forests in Tanzania. Gazetted in 1967, the reserve is a 35,000 ha mosaic of forest, woodland, thicket, swamp and grassland in Kibaha and Kisarawe Districts, Coast Region. Approximately 9,800 ha of the reserve can be considered forest, much of this riparian forest.

The forest is under constant pressure from the illegal production of charcoal to supply markets in nearby Dar es Salaam. Currently the Ruvu Fuelwood Pilot Project, a project of the Forestry and Beekeeping Division is responsible for the management of the reserve.

 

Since 2000 the TFCG has been promoting Joint Forest Management at Ruvu South. A joint management plan has been prepared with input from the Forestry and Beekeeping Division, communities and local government. Joint management agreements have also been prepared and signed by the communities. However so far, the Government have not signed the agreements.

By supporting basic management activities such as patrols and through awareness raising with the surrounding communities, TFCG have succeeded in reducing forest loss in the reserve. However, the pressure is high and there is an urgent need for joint forest management to be implemented in order to avert the disasters that have befallen the neighbouring Pugu and Kazimzumbwi reserves.

Publications

TFCG 2012. Leaflet about the Mama Misitu Campaign in Ruvu South Forest Reserve. Swahili Version.

TFCG 2012. Leaflet about the history of joint forest management in Ruvu South Forest Reserve. Swahili Version.

TFCG 2012. Poster about joint forest management in Ruvu South Forest Reserve. Swahili Version.