2013 World Wood Day was held successfully at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 19th-21st March. A great gratitude is given to all international organizations, Tanzania government and local institutions supporting this event as co-organizers and sponsors. 2013 World Wood Day celebration is meant to promote the concept "A Cultural Approach to Achieve Wood is Good", which was advocated throughout the entire event, towards a sustainable future with wood. There were 45 countries and over 300 people participating in this grand world event.

The World Wood Day opening on March 21st. Front left to right: MNRT Principal Beekeeping Officer, Ms. Monica Kagya, IUFRO D5 Coordinator Prof. Andrew Wong, TFS Director of Resource Management Mr. Zawadi Mbwambo, MNRT Deputy Minister Honorable Lazaro Nyalandu, IWCS Vice- President Dr. Howard Rosen, IWCS Director Mr. Mike Wen-Pin Hou.

This grand international event commenced on 19th March, with two aspects: knowledge and practice. Inside the Karimjee Hall, invited scholars from all over the world presented the latest research and discussed the sustainability and biodiversity, the historical and cultural value, conservation and plantation, international and domestic markets for wood and to share and reflect their ideas on the theme of the World Wood Day Symposium, Wood in Africa: Cultural Distribution, Historical Utilization and Future Sustainability

World Wood Day Symposium: Wood in Africa: Cultural Distribution, Historical Utilization and Future Sustainability. World Wood Day Symposium and Woodcraft Event Opening: MNRT Tanzania Forest Service Chief Executive
Mr. Juma Mgoo, is giving a speech.

Outdoor activity was the lively Woodcraft event with the theme "Wood: Art, Joy, and Culture," including the Local Wood Carving Competition, the African Wood Carving Competition, the International Wood Carving Show, a spectacular eye-catching woodturning show and an educational Youth Woodwork Competition. All the carvers worked hard for two days to finish their art pieces and present a story that carried in their art works.

 African Wood Carving Competition.  Tanzania Wood Carving Competition.

 International Wood Carving Show:
Italian Artisan, Filip Joseph Maria.
 A representative from American Association of Woodturners, Avelino Sameul was working on his work.

A special aspect of this event is that it did not exclude our future generations. For the Teenagers Woodwork Competition, VETA (Regional Vocational Training & Service Centre) instructors guided a group of talented teenagers from all regions of Tanzania to present the results of carpentry education and their creative ideas with wood. They successfully finished every piece of woodwork within the required time.

Children were not eligible for the wood carving competition but joined in the celebration of World Wood Day with their beautiful drawings on the theme "I love trees" and the playful learning toys of wood. Their sharing of love and appreciation towards wood has greatly encouraged the attendees and participations. 

 Youth Woodwork Competition. Children Drawing Contest: I love tree.

 Children's wood knowledge session. Playing toys, including wooden lego,
wooden puzzles and DIY toys.

The highlight was on 21st March, World Wood Day. The ceremony was spiced up with performances from a children's steel drum and choir band, a traditional Sarakasi acrobat team and a dance troupe of primary school children from the Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala municipals in Dar es Salaam. Cheerful words from our guest of honor, Deputy Minister of Ministry of National resources and Tourism, Honorable Lazaro Nyalandu, emphasized that it is everyone's responsibility to protect and appreciate wood for its beauty and sustainable use, future generations and earth.

World Wood Day opening: MNRT Deputy Minister,
Honorable Lazaro Nyalandu, is giving a speech.

 Children steel drum and dance band. Children acrobat team performance.

The joyful World Wood Day event concluded with the results announcement for the exciting competition. All the carvers had a last chance opportunity to impress the judges and public with their works and the stories behind it. Regardless whether they won or not, everyone learned from each other and enjoyed the experience they had over the three-day event.

A contestant is presenting their work out of
African Wood Carving Competition.
 Awards for African Wood Carving Competition.

Judges panel of Tanzania Wood Carving Competition and Children Drawing Contest. Awards for Tanzania Wood Carving Competition.

Tree planting was a must for World Wood Day. On 21st and 22nd, guests were given a chance to plant precious saplings both in Karimjee Hall and Kisarawe District. All guests were then invited to visit the Dar es Salaam Regional Vocational Training & Service Centre and the woodcarvers market for a general view of the woodcraft development in Tanzania. 

 Tree planting in Karimjee Hall. Tree planting on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

IWCS also conducted several themed tours, which provided our participants a better insight into wood cultures in Tanzania, prior to and after the event to the Zanzibar Island, Ngorogoro Conservation area, Usambara Mountains; and Kilimanjaro, Mtwara, and Morogoro regions. The experience of wood culture tours were filmed in videos and will soon be shared and uploaded to the World Wood Day website.

Guests visit Regional Vocational Training & Service Centre
in Dar es Salaam.
 Mwenge Carver's Market.

One of the most woodcraft from Makonde: Family Tree.  A hunter from Hadzabe tribe is hunting for
the whole family's next meal.

The first World Wood Day celebration in Tanzania was well received by attendees, participants, international and local organizations. 2013 World Wood Day has proven a truly remarkable wood and forest cultural event and serves as a great opportunity to advocate a sustainable future. 2013 World Wood Day was a successful start for future events and we are looking forward to a promising 2014 World Wood Day. Please join us next year!

Hand in hand from left to right: Tanzania Woodcarver's Association Secretary Mr. Rashid Lukwekwe, IWCS Director Mr. Mike Wen-Pin Hou, TWA Chairman Mr. Focus Senya.