13 Dec 2010



The supply of responsibly harvested African blackwood stands to increase significantly as a result of a >700% increase in the total area of forest in Tanzania certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Two new Village Land Forest Reserves were successfully audited under FSC conditions during 2010 and are now able to supply timber branded with the FSC stamp.

Liwiti (6,229 hectares) and Nainokwe (8,502 hectares) have been registered under the FSC Group Certificate Scheme of the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative, the Tanzanian partner of the Sound & Fair campaign.

The inclusion of Liwiti and Nainokwe increases the total area of community-managed and FSC-certified forest in Tanzania from 2,420 to 17,151 hectares.

Liwiti and Nainokwe ready for timber harvesting

FSC regulations require detailed surveys of the number and types of tree that are present within each Village Land Forest Reserve, the data being the basis for sustainable harvesting quotas.

Both Liwiti and Nainokwe have completed their surveys and are now ready for their first harvests, which are expected to take place during in early 2011.

Increased revenue opportunities from new FSC timber species

Nainokwe’s forest in particular holds good stocks of African blackwood, significantly more than Kikole, where the first FSC African blackwood harvest took place in December 2009, and both villages will earn good revenue from this species.

Liwiti and Nainokwe also stand to gain significant additional revenue from other timber species, especially Julbernardia and Pterocarpus (sometimes known as Bloodwood for its red colour).

Neither of these species are of use in the woodwind instrument industry, nor are they as valuable as African blackwood, but their presence in high volumes, offers increased revenue earning opportunities and subsequently better prospects for community development projects.

It is through the responsible harvesting and sale of such species, in addition to African blackwood, that forest-dependent people in Tanzania will be able to generate the revenue needed to safeguard the forest in the long-run.

Download press release – 700% increase in FSC forest in Tanzania – Dec 2010