The UNDP Administrator encourages the use of energy efficient stoves to protect biodiversity

24 Jun 2013

imageOne of energy efficient stoves being used by Nilo people

While the UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark was on a private visit to Tanzania, she had an opportunity to see the impact of some of UNDP supported projects, particularly in the area of biodiversity conservation and income-generation initiatives. Nilo Nature Reserve in Korogwe District is among the areas she visited on 24th June 2013.

The Administrator got highlights on the importance of the nature reserve including its value as a water catchment, its richness in terms of biodiversity and being a global hotspot. She also got a chance to visit different attractions within the reserve including different tree species, the camping site, waterfalls, and the endemic flowers, some of which are found only within Nilo.

The major threat to the nature reserve which attracted discussion was the issue of firewood for the communities around the reserve.  Traditionally, the forest has been an important source of firewood for household cooking. To reduce the use of firewood and deforestation, communities were trained on how to construct energy saving stoves as an alternative to the traditional three stone open fire. The Administrator was interested to know more about this alternative promoted by the project including the impact achieved so far.

''I encourage the project to promote the use of fuel efficient stoves made from locally available materials to help protect biodiversity in this area’’ said Ms. Clark

 The conservator Ms Mwanaidi Kijazi, explained, that the project aimed at introducing the fuel efficient cooking stoves for each household around the nature reserve as a measure to reduce pressure on fuel wood from the forest.

Nilo is the second largest block of forest under protection in the East Usambara, after Amani Nature Reserve. Both Nilo and Amani Nature Reserve are part of the East Usambara Biosphere reserve which was established in 2007. The Nature Reserve has an area of 6,025ha surrounded by a total population of 28,960 who mainly depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. The Nature Reserve is the beneficiary of GEF/UNDP and later by the German  Climate Initiative (BMU) support under the project on Conservation and Management of the Eastern Arc Mountain Forests which was implemented from 2004- 2011.