UNDP to residents: Protect Pugu Forest

24th October 2012
Dr Amani Ngusaru

 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged residents living along Pugu forest to protect it against any act which might lead to the disappearance of living organisms and endangered species.

The call was made on Monday in Dar es Salaam by the UNDP Senior Advisor on climate change, Dr Amani Ngusaru during the UN week outreach activity held at Pugu Secondary school.

The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘changing peoples’ lives greening the environment for sustainable livelihoods’.

Dr Ngusaru said more efforts are needed to conserve the forests because they are the source of livelihood for the people.

“Pugu Forest ecosystem, one of the oldest in the World, is the source of Msimbazi River and fresh water supply for the neighbouring communities,” he said.

He added that the forest is home to important animal and plant species and hosts 80 bird species.

According to him, 40 years ago Pugu Forest was only 14 kms from Dar, but it has since shrunk significantly due to various reasons.

“You have a lot of challenges including an increase in population and in this case, sustainable development is essential and everyone is obliged to protect the environment,” he said.

Dr Ngusaru said the country is also facing challenges due to climate change which must be tackled through collaborative efforts.

He mentioned effects of climate change as shortage of water, depletion of the ecosystem, poor availability of energy and emerging deserts.

He urged Tanzanians to start practising sustainable development activities as well as looking into the possibility of using alternative source of energy such as energy-saving cooking stoves and gas he offered to support the government in reducing effects of climate change and improve sustainable development activities.

He thanked volunteers from Young Tanzanians for Community Prosperity (YTCP) and Young Environmental Trainers (YETS) for their efforts in educating students on the importance of forest conservation.

Today is the climax of the UN celebrations, marking 67 years since its establishment.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN