Dodoma — Over 372,000 hectares are deforested annually, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ramo Makani, told Parliament on Wednesday.
He made the revelation while responding to a question by Ms Immaculata Semesi (Special Seats -Chadema), who wanted to know how much forest cover was being lost through deforestation.
Mr Makani said Tanzania needed to plant at least 280 million trees annually for 17 consecutive years to reverse deforestation and keep desertification at bay.
In her question, Ms Semesi wanted to know what measures the government was taking to curb deforestation.
"The country is currently facing a major challenge in climate change, which is being made worse by deforestation. How many hectares of trees and forests do we have in Tanzania and what is the government doing to slow down deforestation?" she asked.
Mr Makani said there were 48.1 million hectares of forest in the country, adding that education and awareness campaigns were key in preventing desertification .
"The government will continue to promote awareness among the public on the importance of planting trees. We have also directed all municipal councils to set aside land for planting trees," he said.
Furthermore, he detailed that the ministry has directed each districts is supposed to annually plant at least 2million trees.