Conserve Coastal Forests of Tanzania to Prevent Species Extinction

Target: Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

Goal: Conservation of biologically rich coastal forests in Tanzania

Tanzania’s coastal forests are considered biological hotspots and they are under increasing threat of destruction. Hotspots are defined as areas home to a large number of endemic species that have lost more than 70% of their original habitat. The coastal forests in Tanzania exist primarily as forest patches and cover an area of only 700 square kilometers. Despite the small size of the remaining forest it provides a habitat for an astonishing number of endemic plant and animal species. There are 554 endemic plant species, five endemic bird species, three endemic mammal species, twenty four endemic reptile species and five endemic amphibian species in these forests. Two species of trees thought to be extinct until recently are found only in the coastal forests of Tanzania.

Many people living in rural communities depend on the coastal forests in Tanzania. Coastal forests provide people with medicinal plants, fuel, building materials and food. In addition the forests help to maintain the water supply for nearby communities. Further degradation of the forests will harm the people that depend on the forest products to live.

The coastal forests in Tanzania are at risk of destruction. The population of Tanzania is increasing at a rate of 2.5-3.5% per year and with that there is ever increasing demand for additional farmland.  The forests are cut down for the production of charcoal to be sold to neighboring communities. Only ten percent of the original coastal forest habitat remains so any additional deforestation has a large impact on the species that live in the coastal forests.

Some of the coastal forest area has already been set aside in reserves, but it is poorly managed. Illegal charcoal production still occurs and the government has neglected the management of the reserves.

By signing the petition below you will help urge the government of Tanzania to conserve the biologically diverse coastal forests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete,

The coastal forests of Tanzania are biologically rich areas and should be protected. Only ten percent of the original coastal forests remain in patches covering an area of 700 kilometers. These forests are home for an amazing variety of endemic plant and animal species. There are 554 endemic plant species, five endemic bird species, three endemic mammal species, and twenty four endemic reptile species. Two trees thought to be extinct are only found in the coastal forests of Tanzania.

The coastal forests in Tanzania are vital to the survival of rural communities. People depend on the forests for food, medicinal plants, building material, and fuel. The forests also help maintain the water supply of nearby communities.

Despite their importance, the coastal forests are at risk of disappearing. The population of Tanzania is growing at a rate of 2.5-3.5% per year and with that the demand for agricultural land is also rising. The forests are also used to produce charcoal for fuel.

The coastal forests should be protected to preserve their biodiversity and allow for the continued survival of people who depend on them.

I urge you to conserve and properly manage the coastal forests of Tanzania to protect these fragile ecosystems for future generations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • hooppole
  • hooppole
  • Stefano Serpico
  • Sanja Maksimovic
  • Teresa Ashley
  • klemens okkels
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