Fuelwood extraction and implication for conservation of the lower montane forest of Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Imani Kikoti1, Henry Ndangalasi2, Nyaki Angela3, Musoma Rukumbuzya3
1 University of Dar es Salaam and Tanzania National Parks,
2 University of Dar es Salaam
3 Tanzania National Parks

P 2.1 in Forest disturbances and future choices

The lower montane forest of Kilimanjaro National Park is important biodiversity hotspot and water catchment area in the country. However, the forest is under threats related to multiple anthropogenic disturbances such as fuelwood collection. The present study aimed at quantifying the impact of fuelwood collection on forest resources. Data were collected through household questionnaire survey, measurement of fuelwood headloads and inventory of deadwood and standing trees in the lower montane forest. Majority of households (83%) were entering the lower montane forest for extraction of resources. The fuelwood headload had mean volume and weight of 0.0460±0.001 m3 and 32.72± 0.7 kg respectively. It was found that the estimated annual fuelwood extracted from the lower montane forest were 302,647.63m3 and 215,276,397.44 kg. In comparison with the estimated deadwood volume of 168,300 m3 and standing tree volume of 2,715,750 m3, there is serious shortage of deadwoods in the lower montane forest. Therefore, the available deadwoods in the forest was only 55.6% of the annual fuelwood requirement. It was observed that in case of similar trend of fuelwood utilization, it will take only 9 years to deplete all trees in the lower montane forest. Some of the factors that contributed to high dependency were commercialization of fuelwoods, land scarcity, use of inefficient traditional cooking techniques and population pressure among others. It is recommended to encourage use of energy serving stoves for efficient energy utilization, encourage local communities to establish woodlots in their village land and raise conservation awareness to adjacent local communities.

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