wavuti.com Updates


Napenda kuwataarifu kuwa blogu hii inapumzishwa rasmi na tovuti mpya imezaliwa kwa jina www.wavuti.com

This is to inform you that this blog has been retired. A new website to take her place is up and running at www.wavuti.com

Monday, June 01, 2009

TweetThis! Tanzanians at risk losing their land for biofuel projects.

Millions of villagers in Tanzania risk losing their land because of its high demand for use in biofuel projects.

It is estimated that the area of land suitable for biofuel production in Tanzania is between 30 and 55 million hectares of land. It is said that investors have already requested four million hectares from the Government.

A report prepared by Mr Emanuel Sulle of the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum says 640,000 hectares of land have already been allocated to biofuel investors.

Titled 'Developing commercial biofuels through securing local livelihoods and land rights', the report says 100,000 hectares have already been fully secured by biofuel investors following procedures of land acquisition.

"For example, the Sun Biofuel's land acquisition in Kisarawe District involved the formal transfer of 8,211 hectares of village land from 12 villages to the company.

"This required the President to formally transfer the land from village to general land so that it could be granted by the Tanzania Investment Centre to the company," the report further says.

According to it, frequently investors do not actually immediately pay compensation to villages upon transfer of village land to general land when the company receives a letter of offer to the land from the Government.

As a result, the report says, communities undergo a great deal of risk as they agree on the transfer of land from village land to general land and from village council to central government authority on the basis of an investor's presumptive ability to use the land title to secure a bank loan.

It says should the investor fail to secure the loan and proceed with the project, as frequently occurs in Tanzania in relation to capital intensive commercial investments, then the community will effectively have lost its land.

This would happen without it receiving compensation, contrary to the spirit and letter of the Village Land Act as well as the community's interests, it points out.

"The sequence of compensation payment is clearly an aspect of ongoing biofuel investments that require much greater scrutiny by governmental and non governmental parties in order to safeguard local interests and rights," it warns.

Citing injustice in the compensation process, the report says Kigoma villagers were promised compensation payment only for the palm trees found on their land. In Kisarawe planted trees were reportedly the basis for calculating compensation payments.

"Even these estimates, excluding any value attached to land itself, do not appear to take any account of the opportunity costs villages face in divesting 'miombo' woodlands used for their economic activities," notes the report.

It says a conservative estimate of the commercial value of harvested timber from 'miombo' woodlands is around US dollars 35 per hectare per year.

The opportunity cost to villagers of the 8,211 hectares of land granted to Sun Biofuels at Kisarawe, given this level of forest harvesting, would amount to over US dollars 200,000 per year. This assumes the presence of trees that can be harvested for use as timber in the area.

According to Mr Sulle, this figure is already higher than the entire compensation. It presumably represents the lost value of the land paid by Sun Biofuels to the 12 villages.

Land being earmarked for biofuel production is generally used by local villagers for forest-based economic activities.

These include commercial charcoal production and harvesting forest products such as those for traditional medicine, mushrooms, fuel wood and building materials.

Source: http://thecitizen.co.tz

0 feedback :

Recent Comments . Kauli za Wasomaji


More Opportunities ads