Kitwe Forest, Tanzania - Partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute-Project #59

In 1999 the Hardwood Forestry Fund partnered with JGI to plant 16,000 seedlings of 4 species native to Tanzania:  Afzelia, African Blackwood, African Mahogany, and Muninga.  In 2009 11,731 of these seedlings (73%) had survived.

Aristides Kashula, Forest Officer for the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), manages the project at the Kitwe Forest Conservation Center, which is 4 kilometers from Kigoma. (It is also 4 kilometers from where the explorer Stanley met Dr. Livingstone.)



Picture: Aristides Kashula in a planting of Afzelia

Aristides started a tree nursery here 11 years ago and explained the history of the different plantings. They used different methods including seedlings, propagation through stumps, root suckers, enrichment plantings, and experimented with air layering methods shown in the photo below.


Picture:  African Blackwood saplings

The 14 acre forest has nature trails for education of visitors, with tree identification signs.

 JGI conducts forest classes for farmers, students, and villagers, teaching about firebreaks, which are important for the dry season, and watershed management, which is especially important during the rainy season.  They teach about medicinal plants, mushrooms, and other valuable products in the forest. 

 The training classes have had a mulitiplier effect, with best management practices spreading to surrounding villages.  There are 2 security guards for the forest, but Aristides reports that the KitweForest has been so well received by the neighboring villagers, that they are most helpful in protecting the forest.

 African Mahogany planting; a nice canopy is developing.

A nice canopy is developing in this Mahogany Planting

The African Mahogany planting above has done quite well. Emmanuel Mtiti is the Program Director for JGI of the Gombe – Masito – and Ugalla Ecosystems.  Emmanuel explained that JGI works with many communities in the area to encourage environmental stewardship of the land.  There is a history of slash and burn clearing in the region, but JGI is promoting alternative uses of the land.  Ecotourism is also a growing business.  It was gratifying to see the results of a project inspired by Frank Sheridan in 1999.