Govt warns against encroaching protected forest reserves

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Dzalanyama Forests Reserve (credit: Times)

Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change has warned against the conduct of some people who are encroaching into protected forest reserves and plantations across the country.

This is contained in a Tuesday press statement which has been signed by Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change James Ali.

Ali has demanded that the conduct of encroaching into gazetted forest reserves should immediately stop.

According to Ali, encroachment seriously undermines Government’s long-term development plans and objectives as articulated in Agenda 2063 where the environment is placed at the centre of economic development.

He added that it surprising that this misconduct is happening when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change has recently gone ahead to issue warnings to developers within the perimeters to stop any development which he said has been largely ignored by encroachers.

“The Ministry therefore, wishes to remind the General Public that according to Section 64 of the Forest Act (1997), encroaching Forest Reserves and protected plantations is illegal and punitive.

“The Ministry also wishes to assure the country that it will not condone the reckless actions of a few which are to the detriment of many and will therefore continue to conduct spot inspections and legal action will be taken against individuals and institutions that ignore this warning,” reads part of the statement.

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