By Michael Sikapundwa, Morogoro [caption id="attachment_97104" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Deputy minister in the Vice President's Office( Environment and Union ) Hamis Hamza stresses the importance of environmental protection and preservation to over 100 environmental stakeholders from the public and private sectors. A forum organized by Southern Agricultural Growth ( SAGCOT), World Wide Fund (WWF) and Morogoro regional authority[/caption] The government has called upon Tanzanians, in particular, the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) to plant trees and monitor them to overcome climate change. The Deputy Minister, Vice President’s Office (VPO, Hon. Hamis Hamza, made a call today in Morogoro Region at the Kilombero Cluster Green Reference Group (K-GRG )’s three days meeting that was organized by the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), WWF and Morogoro Regional Government. The objective of the meeting was to establish the Kilombero Cluster GRG and develop strategies for agricultural growth and environmental management in Morogoro Region. The Minister said, Morogoro is among the regions in Tanzania whose people have been affected by climate changes which is to a large extent been propelled by their economic activities like mining and farming along the water sources. ‘’ I order all Tanzanians, stakeholders like NEMC to make sure trees are planted and monitored because reports show that there are many campaigns of planting trees across the country but they do not reach a target due to poor monitoring from the street government level’’ He said. Additionally, Morogoro is blessed with rice mills, lazier, and sisal factories. I task Municipal officers and inspectors to cross-check how those industries maintain sanitary and hygiene for residents in their neighborhoods. ‘’ but congratulation for the forum because you have applied a late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s principle that implemented through Green Belt Movement (GBM) from its Kenyans managed to plant over 52 million trees ‘’ he disclosed. He said, the government promises support to your movement and still asks for international organizations to join with Tanzania in the war against climate change because giant nations allocate billions of money to environmental protection and preservation through educating people from national to international levels. ‘’ Tanzania is among of African countries, and last week participated at the UNEP meeting on Environment in Ivory Coast and Kenya. That movement went together with the Vice President’s meeting in Sweden about climate changes’’ he added. For his part, the Morogoro District Commissioner (DC) Advocate Albert Msando, pointed out the efforts the government is implementing such as launching a planting trees campaign to public offices, schools, open spaces, and mainly at water catchment from the top of Uluguru mountains. ‘’ Municipal Council has already planted 272,072 trees and monitoring exercises is ongoing. Our target is to plant over 10 million trees before 2025” he said. A researcher from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Prof. Japhet Kashaigili pointed on the need of advancing local knowledge and contemporary vegetation ecology in curbing the environmental challenges and protecting of water sources. Referring to their Environmental Flows Assessment and the Development Corridors Partnership research projects, he pointed that Nature based Solution (NbS) using locally available tree species such as Ficus sur (Mdzombe), Syzigium guinense (Mvengi), Asenia abysinica (Mdobole), Salix subserrata (Msusuliani), and Rauvolfia caffra (Mvelevele) is potential in supporting the water sources restoration efforts. ''restoration of degraded water sources should go in tandem with the addressing poverty which is a key driver of the change by creating alternative income generating activities such as beekeeping, mushroom farming and tree nurseries.'' he revealed.