Sound and Fair marked World Environment Day with a visit to our Nanjirinji sawmill by the Regional Commissioner for the Lindi Region of southern Tanzania, the Honourable Godfrey Zambi.
Whilst at the sawmill he planted a number of mkangazi (khaya anthotheca) saplings, also known as khaya mahogany, a previously common species which has been over exploited for the valuable timber it produces.
The Regional Commissioner also laid a foundation stone at the Sound and Fair sawmill as a mark of support to local enterprise, sustainable trade and environmental conservation in the region and had these words:
“On this World Environment Day, we celebrate our natural world and the means to ensure its survival. Unsustainable forest clearances and illegal logging will impoverish Tanzania’s biological resources from a social, economic and environmental standpoint. With this new investment from Sound and Fair and local communities, we stand to ensure we can maintain our forests by giving them an economic value. More importantly, this investment contributes to the Tanzania’s 5th government priorities of Industrialization and livelihood improvement of the poor. We congratulate this company in taking this step in Lindi Region and wish them every success.”
“Illegal logging and slash-and-burn approaches devastate biodiversity and ecosystems, threatening the supply of food and freshwater and eroding livelihoods for so many Tanzanians. Sound and Fair’s approach is to manage and utilise forests sustainably. On this World Environment Day, we are proud to be able to play our part in working to keep those forest habitats alive for current and future generations and look forward to working closely with our partners including local people, government authorities and international buyers in making this investment a success”, remarked James Laizer, Managing Director of Sound and Fair in Tanzania.
The visit to the Sound and Fair Group’s sawmill facilities near Nanjirinji village forms part of a number of World Environment Day celebrations taking place in Lindi region. Tanzania is a highly significant country in terms of its wealth of biodiversity and has a long history of dedicated conservation work to secure its natural wealth of forests, wildlife areas and marine habitats. Southern Tanzania has a rich ‘miombo’ forest habitat in which many important and valuable tree species can be found, including African blackwood, prized internationally for its use in woodwind and other musical instruments.
“As a Finnish development finance company, we are keen to promote sustainable forestry which can create great environmental and social benefits. We have chosen to provide support to Sound and Fair because the company represents this important balance: ensuring economic success alongside providing a means for natural forests to be managed sustainably and for local people to benefit. We wish this initiative, an important investment for southern Tanzania and Tanzanians, a great future,” said Jaakko Kangasniemi, CEO of Finnfund, which has been financing the company since 2016.
“This investment from Sound and Fair Group is driven by our commitment to a triple bottom line approach—we want to see economic benefits from forests, plus a genuine benefit to local people as forest managers and to ensure the long-term survival of these wonderful woodlands and their resources. It complements earlier and ongoing initiatives around sustainable forest management in the region and illustrates our shared determination to ensure Tanzania’s natural forests can be worth more to people intact than cleared for other uses. With ongoing political will, effective cooperation and sustainable partnerships, Tanzania should be able to effectively manage her forests before it is too late,” said Paul Harrison, Executive Chairman of the Sound and Fair Group.
“Forests are a major source of livelihood benefits for local people in this region. Giving them access to markets through enterprise can only improve that situation. We look forward to an ongoing and effective partnership with the Sound and Fair Group,” said Makala Jasper, Chief Executive Officer for the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative, a local organisation dedicated to supporting community forest management.